Lessons Learned on a 2,900 Mile Road Trip

Last week we drove 2,900 miles in 6 days. There were lots of long days sitting in the car. The kids had homework to pass some of the time. I had books to read and work projects. There were snacks and naps. Most of the trip was monotonous.

There were a few moments that will stand out and we will remember from our trip:Hanging on a buffalo

  1. The Burger King Manager in Iowa that came out from behind the counter sat down and visited with us. He told my son he liked his tie and just chatted for a while.
  2. Stopping for ice cream at Little America, Wyoming and letting the kids climb on the metal buffalo statue.
  3. The screams of delight from the back seat when the kids saw BYU’s Cougar Football Stadium for the first time in real life. (They’ve watched it on TV many times.)

These moments stand out because they were DIFFERENT from the mostly predictable monotony of a road trip.

Your work with clients may be very routine and predictable for you and your clients. If you want to make an impression, you need to do some things DIFFERENTLY as well.

  1. Come out from behind the counter. Just like the Burger King Manager, take some time to get personal with your clients and get to know them. Compliment them, find out a little more about them.
  2. Throw in some surprises and rewards along the way. There isn’t much to see or do on I-80 in Wyoming. A 75¢ ice cream cone and a chance to climb on a buffalo sculpture were nice surprises and rewards for a long day of driving. Give your clients rewards and surprises along the way. An unexpected treat or gift can be a memorable experience for your clients. (You can even ship ice cream through eCreamery.com.) Hosting an in-person celebration or gathering for your clients is another way to bring people together and create a memory.
  3. Kids at BYU stadiumGive them an experience they have been dreaming of or tap into their passions. Your clients may have been dreaming of a solution to their problem that you finally provide for them. You can also pay attention to the things they are interested in and share a conversation, gift or experience related to their interests.

Find a way to connect with your clients and break up the monotony of the work you do. Doing something different will make you stand out and be memorable to your clients. It will give them something to talk about with their friends and colleagues and give them a reason to come back for more.

While I have no desire to jump in the car and repeat that long trip any time soon, I have some great memories to motivate me to do it again when the time is right. And I definitely recommend the Little America ice cream cones to anyone traveling that way!

Deb Brown is the founder of Touch Your Client’s Heart. She believes the key to client retention and word of mouth referrals is as simple as nurturing business relationships. She helps small service-based businesses do this through meaningful gifts and small-scale mailings. To find out HOW to WOW your clients, go to http://WowClientsNow.com.

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