“I came, I saw, I strengthened the business,” with apologies to Julius Caesar who proclaimed something like that in a now-lost soundbite.
Be proactive. Go to the client, look around, ask questions, press the flesh, meet the principal(s) you will do business with, repeat once a year, or as often as needed to keep the relationship vital. Make intermittent visits when something requires more than a phone call. You already know how that helps, I just had to say that.
I have a credit card client in NYC whose technology was greatly improved recently when they moved from one location to another down the hall, into a larger space and with the renovation, they expanded their digital communications quality. Business is booming, I witnessed, when I went to visit their new office.
I reconnected with the owner in this annual visit, who made time to come say hello. I have known him and serviced his account since December 2009 when the account was first opened, and as he grew, so did our services, and this time I got to know his financial staff over our 2-hour meeting. I cleared up misconceptions left from the abrupt departure by their predecessor, explored ways to conduct credit card processing more efficiently, and impressed on them my over-the-top commitment to quality customer service (reinforcing the compliments by the owner when he first introduced me to the new staffers.)
The account expands and confidence was restored in this tough transition time, with a new location and picking up the pieces from the former staffer who had left ini the interim. I emailed my thank you for their time and a couple of weeks later also checked in to be sure everything was going well.
By the way, the people I met both looked me up on LinkedIn ahead of the meeting, as did I them. Call it research and development of the mutual relationship. An investment.