IT'S EASIEST AND MOST COST EFFECTIVE TO SELL TO CLIENTS WHO HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED FROM YOU, BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
Retention is crucial to running a successful business. Otherwise, we spend all of our time tirelessly working to develop new opportunities. Clients who have purchased from you have already traveled through the awareness, consideration, and purchase phases of the buying cycle.
Now all you have to do is continue to foster and nurture those precious relationships in the after-sale stage in order to keep those relationships sharp. Here are 14 ways to do exactly that.
1. Do what you say you’re going to do.
And do it quickly. Nothing hurts your credibility more than committing to something - no matter how small - but not following through.
2. The classic, under promise and over deliver.
Surprise and delight, baby!
3. Keep them informed of industry changes.
When something changes in your industry related to your expertise, send them an email letting them know you’re looking out for them with regard to how the change will impact their business. It lets them know you’re informed so they can rest easy knowing you’ve got their back.
4. Care about making a difference as much as you do about making a living.
Nothing matters more on this earth than people do and impacting people positively lets others know who you are in the core of your being.
5. Keep clients informed of project progress.
Don’t leave them wondering where a project stands. Connect mid-project letting the customer know how things are going and what they can expect now and in the future. Providing stepping stones is a powerful way to solidify solid communication and get the customer excited about what’s to come. If you have to, mark the checkpoints on your calendar and send out a quick email or text.
6. Ask new connections questions about themselves.
Their business, their interests, and their life. This helps nurture those precious relationships. Commit a few details to memory and connect with them later socially or via email. Thread into your conversation when you follow up a unique details about your conversation. If striking up conversations with people you don’t know well tends to be difficult for you, have a few conversation starters in your arsenal like:
- What’s the best book or blog you’ve ever read related to XYZ?
- Tell me, what do you love about your company?
- How’d you get your start and what drove you to where you are now?
- How did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
7. Be present.
Put your phone away. If you have to check your phone or wrist watch mid-conversation, provide a quick explanation why and move on.
8. Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note.
With the proliferation of email, handwritten notes are becoming archaic, which is why using this connection piece is oh, so much more meaningful and sets you apart from others.
9. Be on time.
Get in the habit of assuming whomever you’re getting together with is busier than you are, not the other way around. If you notice you’re routinely late, recognize the need for a fundamental shift in how you manage your time. While it’s understandable in extenuating circumstances, being routinely late is sloppy and unprofessional.
10. Verbalize expectations surrounding time commitments.
At the onset of a meeting, ask the client how much time they have available and be cognizant of their scheduling needs.
11. Smile often.
RBF is a funny, lighthearted term (and a very real ailment for some of us), but it doesn’t translate well for business relationships. Smiling makes you approachable.
12. Drown out negativity with positivity.
People want to build personal and business relationships with positive people. I’m not afraid to admit that I avoid nay-say’ers like the plague. You know, the ones who say “Oh, yea…that would happen to me.” as if the world is out to get them or “That’ll never work.” when someone makes a suggestion. Because guess what? If you look for the positive, you’ll find it. And if you look for the negative, you’ll also find it.
In a world where we’re almost hesitant to turn on the news because we just don’t want to know, we can positively and fundamentally impact our corner of the universe in massive ways by setting a positive precedent in conversation and with our behavior. Plus, reflecting sunshine all around you makes people want to do business with you.
13. Treat gatekeepers like the CEO.
My brother taught me the value in this. The gatekeepers, are people like the secretary, or the janitor, or whomever is between you and the person whom society assumes has the “real power.” Don’t forget those who have advanced to leadership positions likely did so in part because they manage relationships well, even down to the initial gatekeepers. Devaluing gatekeepers is a costly mistake and poor business practice.
14. Pick up the phone and call.
You may not be able to personally call every customer, but do for one what you wish you could do for every one of them.
My goal in every post is to make the most of your precious time and pack these articles with insanely actionable content. Have I done that for you today? I'd love to hear your feedback. Contact me or comment below.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi there, I'm Francie. I started this business, Simply Integrated, in 2015 and have fallen madly in love with teaching small business owners how to start, grow, and market the successful and profitable business they dream about.
My knowledge and experience comes from earning an MBA and from coaching small business entrepreneurs while managing and marketing their projects.
I focus solely on business strategy and marketing and created this blog to help others run more successful businesses. If you’re interested, you can read more about me on the About page of Simply Integrated’s website.
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