Why familiarity wins business
Do you remember their birthdays? Their children's names? Where they last vacationed?
There is such a thing as being too familiar - you know the type; when a person comes up to you and invades your personal space. However, in business, putting aside the touchy feely stuff, being familiar by remembering important details about your clients, their habits, and perhaps the way they take their coffee, can ensure that your client feels comfortable sharing things with you that perhaps they would not do to a "stranger".
First meetings are always key to ascertaining what level of playing field you will be on in the relationship going forward. That means, if they share important information like the fact that they are married and have three children or like to ski, then ensure you capture this data and use it in the future. In ski season, perhaps you send them a new pair of gloves or a scarf.
Yesterday, I met with a company in Atlanta that was headed by an Australian man. Immediately, we had something in common and were able to conduct the rest of the meeting with a sense of familiarity. Going through the same issues of settling in a new country, gives a sense that we are both on the same page. This makes the whole process so much easier because there is a sense that we both know where we are coming from thus helping Marketing Eye win this piece of business.
Food for thought!