Face time, not air time: So many people think that your commercials and phone calls count in building a relationship with customers. What builds a relationship is your face time, not air time. I love the concept of the old General Store of the 1800’s. The owner knew the children’s names, birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, special family moments. They made it their business to learn everything they could about the family and then use it at the right time. Today should be no different. We’ve gotten so far away from those general rules of engagement that we often forget they still exist. The difference is that they’re now more important than ever. Next call you make, have a card that asks some questions like the birthday (just the day, who cares about the year), anniversary, etc. Find out the family member’s names casually and make notes. Look for an opportunity to really create a remarkable moment. When’s the last time they got a birthday or holiday card from their HVAC company. Be the one that does it and you’ll watch your word of mouth referrals soar. Imagine sending your database a card on their birthday each year. Imagine the buzz that can create when they talk to their friends and neighbors. Don’t just think about it, do it! For decades I have preached the importance of remembering someone on their birthday. It’s the most precious tool in establishing a relationship with your customer, and one that you need to implement today.