- Client retention is not an event, it is a daily process.
How many of you reading this keep in touch with your childhood friends daily? Weekly? Monthly? To those of you that do, I commend you, but the truth is many of us don’t and it is a trait that can carry over into business. Maintaining business relationships is no different. As days pass, new business is formed and we can lose track of our old clients. Just as we do with our childhood friends, we may assume our business clients will always be there when we reach out. Sadly, unlike our friends, business relationships can be broken due to this neglect. If we are not constantly building and strengthening our relationship with each and every client on a routine basis, then we are risking losing everything. To clarify, we don’t have to call or message our clients every single day as they may become annoyed, but a simple congratulations or happy birthday to those people goes a long way. Always remember that it can take years to build a strong relationship but it can be broken in a single day.
- When people change, everything has the potential to change.
Business can be lost in many ways. One common way is through a position change. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working with a company. If the contact you have in that company changes due to many reasons (person was promoted, retired, changed companies) you could be starting at square one. This is why we should always be re-evaluating our business every 6 months with clients or when there is a major position change. Build relationships with a whole company and not just one decision maker. This will create a deeper relationship and help you keep business when people and roles inevitably change.
- Keep track of past clients throughout their careers.
Losing or firing a client doesn’t always mean the end of business. Just because business didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean they won’t need your service in the future. With growth comes new opportunity. I had mentioned before that needs change frequently. If our needs are changing so are those of our client’s. Keep in contact with them and opportunities may present themselves sooner than you think. If no further business is gained, the former client will at least give you great recommendations to new clients looking to use your products or services.
Jon Gyles can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org