Regular rhythms refer to the heartbeat of your contact with clients, vendors and team members. They help cement relationships, drive processes and change and promote innovation. In the day to day chaos it is sometimes too easy to overlook setting or maintaining the kind of contact rhythm that can have real business benefits.
Establishing a regular pattern of communication with your clients is a key aspect in forming the rapport that is a necessary foundation for trust and clear communication. A regular rhythm of contact may be weekly, monthly or quarterly catch ups depending on the level of need your client has. A regular business review during which the strategy of how you will work together is formulated is an important tool for cementing the relationship you have and integrating what you have to offer with their requirements.
Another way of creating that regular communication pattern is to set up a mailing list and send out a consistently timed newsletter or update that aims to keep you top of mind with your readers on a regular basis. Drive subscriptions by asking new clients, suppliers and prospects if you can add them to the mailing list. Give to get – a mail out that is primarily designed to sell will quickly see reader interest wane.
Using a platform such as mailchimp.com or constantcontact.com to create an easy-to-manipulate email marketing campaign will give you a simple and low cost way of establishing a regular contact rhythm and enable you to view analytics about who is reading and clicking on what.
Suppliers can often cop a beating when it comes to how we view them. If they want our business they’ll bend over backwards for us, right? That methodology doesn’t always pan out so well. Treating them more like customers than suppliers can yield surprising results. Take them to lunch. Have regular business reviews. Send them a bottle of wine at Christmas or as a thank you when they’ve helped you out.
Suppliers have the power to greatly influence how well you conduct your business. If they are willing to go the extra mile for you it may be the thing that gives you a competitive advantage. Establishing a regular contact rhythm and treating suppliers with the same respect and care you afford your customers can transform the relationship you have with them.
Communication is a fundamental soft skill that the majority of teams find challenging. By no means is it wise to advocate meetings for meetings’ sake, but a regular rhythm for team communication is essential. To really get their buy in, team members need the opportunity to give and receive feedback on how they are performing and how the business is going.
We’ve mentioned daily huddles before; other rhythms that should be considered are departmental or project based catch ups, innovation sessions, company updates and mini performance reviews that are designed to keep team members informed on their progress and provide positive, constructive feedback as well as keeping them on track with goals.
Twelve months is a long time between drinks and annual performance reviews tend to be very retrospective. Monthly review catch ups promote more frequent opportunities for two way feedback and provide a chance to focus on the future rather than mainly reflecting on the past.
A consistent approach to meaningful, impactful meetings with clients, vendors and team members can be transformational in improving trust and communication amongst the people who matter to your business the most.