It is estimated that more than 50% of business is the result of relationships that have been built with clients. If you think that you are going to get business because you have the lowest fees, the best service or most innovative product---dream on. The truth of the matter is, if you are not making the effort to build rapport with your clients and if you are not making their experience with you memorable---you are missing 50% of your market. Can you really afford to do that?!

The REAL-ity is this: in order for you to maximize your marketing efforts and create a strong repeat and referral-based business, you must be both memorable and prepared.

Here are some simple strategies that you can start doing today to help you get prepared and be memorable.

Remember, paying attention to the little things will have a huge impact on your business.

Tip #1: Being PREPARED is paying the little things:

• Do something for your client that says, "I took the time to get to know you." When you’re on an appointment in their office or home, look for plaques or trophies, pictures of children, pets, events or hobbies, magazines or anything else that reveals personal likes or after-work pursuits.

• Ask about these things---most people will be glad to talk about what they have accomplished or like to do. This is a great way to identify things you have in common with them and will be the perfect way to start building rapport.

• When interacting with potential clients outside their office or home, at a networking event or luncheon for instance, observe their clothing, car, jewelry, imprinted items or business card to gain clues as to their interests. This information will give you an array of topics for conversations, and may identify areas of interest you may have in common.

• Read and reap! If they own a business and have a web presence, visit their site. Odds are you will find a wealth of helpful information, not only about their business and accomplishments, but in many cases there will be information about where they are from, their alma mater, or their hobbies.

Tip #2: Being MEMORABLE is doing creative—but simple—things:

• Email them an article relating to one of their interests or hobbies, like fly-fishing, golf, or hiking.

• Acknowledge an award or article about them in the paper with a 'Saw you in the news' personal note, along with the clipping.

• Share a quotation or inspiring story that you know will resonate with them.

• Remember their 'fur family': ask about their pets (breed and name) and keep a supply of pet treats handy--I keep a bag of dog biscuits in my car!

Go above and beyond with your service. Deliver more than expected and do the unexpected.

Author's Bio: 

Sandy Dixon is a former Realtor® and sales, marketing and training executive. Sandy teaches people how to start, market and grow their own real estate staging and interior redesign businesses, also offering redesign/staging workshops for both existing business owners and those looking to start a new career. Visit her website at for information on her PR and marketing products as well as her training and mentoring programs.