Sure, there are a lot of reasons why you lose clients… you messed up a project or a competitor dramatically under cut your prices or your key contact left the company. But the #1 reason why you lose clients is ‘arrogance.’
You assume that your good work is enough to solidify your relationship with the buyer. It isn’t.
You assume that your good work will keep you top-of-mind with clients. It won’t.
Here’s what happens… you complete a project for a client and do a really good job. That’s great! And you know that their next project isn’t for another 6-8-10 months. So, what do you do? You focus on your other clients and maybe acquiring some new ones… confident that your good work will sustain you with that client until their next project. It doesn’t.
Here’s why… if you’re not staying in touch proactively and communicating passively, you won’t stay top-of-mind. Further, if you’re not the one in your client’s ear… I promise you, a competitor will be. And if that competitor is the one proactively building and strengthening a relationship with your client – because you’re arrogant enough to think you don’t need to – it’s that competitor who will take the business from you.
To keep that from happening, first, acknowledge that building and maintaining strong relationships with existing clients is a strategic imperative for your firm. Make it your #1 priority. With that as a driver, here are 8 easy ways to support that strategy:
- Reach out regularly to your clients via email or, even better, by phone. See how they’re doing. Have a human and genuine conversation.
- ‘Seeing’ a client helps maintain your relationship, so schedule Zoom chats, maybe over a cup of coffee or for ‘happy hour.’
- Send gifts of appreciation… especially when they might not be expecting them.
- Share resources that are specific to that company.
- If your contacts post on social media, engage those posts with ‘likes’ and comments.
- Get to know them on a personal level… then you can send birthday cards or talk with them about their favorite sports team or their recent vacation.
- Be a resource to their team; offer, for example, to put on a quarterly lunch-n-learn for their staff.
- And make sure your marketing team is providing a continuous presence in the marketplace with social media posts, enewsletters, posting on your blog and other efforts.
“Things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.” And everything on the above list is easy to do. To be successful with them requires two things:
- A commitment to doing it
- And someone responsible for it
Bottom line: It’s 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new client than to keep an existing one. Kinda seems like a no-brainer where are you ought to be focusing your efforts. Good luck!