The Importance of Quantity

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In this video, we’re going to talk about something that’s extremely easy to do, and has a lot of benefit to your clients, your strategic partners, and the other folks that are in your relationship world that you’re trying to keep in touch with.

There are two key facets of how you communicate with clients. One is the quality of your interactions. Are you interacting in a way that’s helpful to the client? Are you adding value, sending them something meaningful? Are you giving them an idea they didn’t have before, or are you introducing them to somebody that would be great for them to know? Those are the factors that determine the quality of your interactions.

The other piece that’s really important, from a behavioral science perspective, is the quantity of interactions. Likability correlates strongly to both the quality, the value you are giving to people, but also the quantity of interactions. The science behind the quantity side is amazing. This is called the mere exposure effect, and it was first studied in 1876. Yeah, that’s right, the first two numbers are one and eight. It has its own Wikipedia page, and you can look it up yourself.

The idea is that the mere exposure of us to something makes us highly probable to like it more. The number of times we see a product, a service, or a person, the more likely we are to like them. That’s really important, because likeability correlates to buying more and similar things to that. So we want to be likable. We don’t want to just think about quality. We want to think about the quantity of our interactions as well.

Here’s the rub. Most of our clients get the quality side, but not as much the quantity side. Why is that? Well, they’re expert-driven, they’re really technical, and they add a lot of value in their clients’ minds. A lot of times, the folks that we train in business development put too much pressure on themselves to pick the most perfect thing in the world to talk about or to send to a client. That limits their quantity of interactions, because they’re trying to be perfect on the quality side.

Here’s a great example. I’m a client, too, so I see it from that side as well. As the author of a book that’s coming out, I’ve got a literary agent. Her name’s Lisa. She’s fantastic. Many of my interactions with Lisa are about the book. The title of the book, networking to potential experts in the field, a checklist of things I should be thinking about as we write the book, and all kinds of content-based things.

I got an email from Lisa a few weeks ago. It was just a few sentences. It said, “Hey, I’m headed out for vacation for a couple weeks. I’m not going to be around. I’ll be gone this day and I’ll come back this day. I’ve been checking in with all the people around. Sounds like things are going well, but I had a question. How do you think the book writing is going, from your perspective?”

That short email showed me she’s on top of things. She’s just checking in with me, but it was valuable. I couldn’t help but tell her how excited I am about the book progress, how well the writing’s going, how much work it is, but how fulfilling it is at the same time. I wrote her back an email maybe this long, that had a few questions, that got her engaged. Then we went back and forth over five, six, seven emails. We had a really meaningful conversation. It meant a lot to me that she checked in, that she knew what was going on, and asked for how things were going from my perspective.

That was easy for her and it was valuable for me. She opened the door with an email that maybe took her three minutes to write, and we ended up having a real, meaningful dialogue. She didn’t know where the conversation was going to go. I didn’t totally, either, but at the end of the day, it was really one of the best interactions over email that we’ve ever had.

Here’s the point. We can overemphasize quality, because we feel like we have to have this perfect thing we’re going to share with a client. However, sometimes the best thing to do is just to check in with them. Asking how someone’s doing is both an easy thing to do and it’s a great thing to do.

Here’s my question for you. Do you have some clients you haven’t been in touch with lately? Maybe you know what’s going on in the periphery, but you haven’t checked in with them directly? Have you been hesitating, because you haven’t found that perfect thing to send them? Well maybe what you can do is just check in, see how they’re doing, and ask an open-ended question at the end.

How can you be of service to them? How can you be helpful? Just that little ping, that little “I care about you and I’m checking in,” can dial up your quantity and start a very meaningful interaction. You may not know where it’s going to head, they may not, but something good is going to happen.

As with all these videos, we hope this one helps you help your clients succeed.