Peter Drucker said, “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” Yup, makes sense.
But let me ask you these two questions:
- How much do you spend acquiring customers compared to keeping them?
- Who makes more money in your organization – salespeople or support people?
If you are like most businesses or department heads, product managers, or group managers, you are so focused on your front end sale that you are letting your profits walk out the door. That is an uncomfortable thought but one that plays out in business every day. We build processes and structures and train staff around selling.
Wile it is obvious that you want to keep as many customers as you can I’ll repeat my earlier question:
How much do you spend on acquiring customers compared to keeping them?
Do you really know? More to the point – Do you have an active, agreed-upon, funded and implemented client retention program in place?
We all know – or say we do – that it costs many more times to acquire new clients than it does to keep clients. Agreed?
Then why don’t you have an active client retention campaign in place?
Because you are running your business backwards. And I’ll bet you are struggling to keep your profit numbers up and sales growing. Why? Because it is expensive to acquire new clients and far less expensive to keep clients.
Here are three simple techniques to build client retention.
- Call your clients regularly to check in and say hello. No sales pitch; a birthday, a ‘marker day’ (Have you ever received Groundhog day card?), the anniversary of them becoming a client. Make it memorable and take notes in your CRM so you can refer back if needed in the future
- Add Value: Send them relevant articles, write relevant articles, send a link to good news you read about their business. Put on webinars of importance and interest. Bottom line: Do things that separate you from your competition.
- Here’s an outrageous challenge: Be so outstanding at client support that people who do not have service from you call you for help. This may not apply to every business, but what better way to win clients from your competitor than supporting a competitor’s client better than they do! (BTW – Lou’s company has done this!)
So there you go! Three simple, low cost, obvious techniques to shift the focus of your business to the most profitable and enduring side of things: existing clients. Keep in mind these are people or organizations that are in the habit of buying from you now. Do some work to ensure that continues while you simultaneously bring in new business.