Readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of relationship-based marketing. Reaching out to past clients and helping them remember how good the experience of having your company remodel their home can produce repeat business and good referrals. Sending a lot of postcards?  Not so much.

I heard from a long-time client, Philip Anderson of HDR Remodeling in Berkeley, Calif., about an interesting marketing tactic that the company uses. Philip and his husband, Jim, do something that takes relationship-based marketing one step further: Several times a year they host a dinner at their home. Philip invites a dozen or so past clients, with many of whom have worked with HDR Remodeling in the last year or so. An invitation is created that includes pictures of the projects that the company did for the invitees.

The dinner is catered and features wine pairings for each course. Philip and Jim can be fully engaged with the guests, as the caterer and his/her staff take care of all the prep, service, and cleanup. Philip starts the evening off by introducing the attendees, usually with a quirky fact about each guest. Then the evening takes off, with all these folks who are part of the HDR community learning about one another.

Do you think these good clients might tell friends about this experience? Would these good clients be even more likely to have HDR back to do more remodeling on their homes? You bet!

The holidays are upon us. Consider following Philip’s lead. Wrap up your year by thanking some of the best folks you worked with this year, and/or do a dinner like this more than once a year, like Philip does.

Remember, your clients bought your services. Let them know how much you appreciate them doing so. They will love you all the more because you did.