BY Michael Fleming

DATE: 15 APR 2020


Five simple thoughts

In the old days on Rainmaker Business Development Skills Programmes delegates in the room seemed challenged by my suggestion they should get in touch with their clients just to say hello. To ask how they were, have a chat.

“What would we talk about, wouldn’t it seem weird?” would be a common response.

My how the world has changed. You certainly don’t need to struggle now to think up reasons to get in touch with your contacts and clients. When you do it’s often a chat in their bedroom, or yours.

Here are my five simple thoughts on “reaching out” to clients, though my wonderful colleague, Nicky, has pointed out that you should only “reach out” if you are in the Four Tops (if you’re under 40, ask your mum or dad to explain).

1. Reach out – get in touch!

  • Come on, what are you waiting for? Get on with it. JFDI.
  • What’s the worst that can happen? They ignore you, don’t reply? So what?
  • Email them. Call them up. Message them on LinkedIn. Get in touch.
  • Ask for virtual face time: Zoom, WebEx, FaceTime, WhatsApp – whatever!

2. Be Genuinely Interested & Empathetic

  • If ever there was a time to be sure you really listen to clients, this is it
  • What are their issues, challenges, concerns, fears?
  • Make sure that you really listen: with the intention of understanding, not responding
  • And make sure they feel that you actually do care about what they’re telling you

3. Get Up Close & Personal

  • Remember the power of self-disclosure. Tell people some things about you and your life and they’ll likely tell you about themselves and their life
  • Listen and look out for clues about personal things to ask and talk about
  • How many partners, children, flatmates have you seen wandering into the background of your Zoom meetings? Ask about them. Say hello!

4. Have Stuff to Ask and to Talk About

  • What new issues are emerging as a result of the present situation?
  • What might they we interested in?
  • What do you need to mug up on?
  • Create a list of possible areas to explore and ask questions around

5. How Could You Help?

  • What could you offer that would be genuinely useful and beneficial to them
  • How might you be able to help them at the moment?
  • What could you send them, tell them, show them?
  • Who could you connect them to

None of this is rocket science, in fact it’s all common sense. We are finding out every day that common sense goes a long way.

Now wash your hands, grab a biscuit and a cuppa and go speak to someone.