I came across these series of articles by Dan Travis on LinkedIn about how you can make your clients stay and why are they your biggest asset. It’s very informational and it can really help small business owners so I thought thought to also share what he wrote about.
In his first post entitled “How to Keep your Clients”, he basically talked about the importance of communication of business owners to existing clients. Based on the evidence that Dan gathered, business owners ‘neglect’ their clients because they do not know they are neglecting them or they do not know what client neglect is. He said that 67% of people who leave a business will cite ‘neglect’ as the reason. While only 15% of people leave because of price. Why are then the existing clients neglected? According to Dan, the thrill of obtaining a new client (or receiving a new enquiry) far supersedes the reaction to an existing client rebooking. Obtaining new clients for the business is prioritised over communicating with existing clients – and this should not be the case. Most business owners think that by sending promotional emails occasionally or confirming an appointment is more than enough communication. But no. Sending regular and frequent emails to your existing clients is a vital component of a thriving business. If the business owner excuses himself for not communicating with his clients, he places his business in a very risky position. Business owners should think that the existing client has probably paid more than the new enquiry and is far more likely to stay with the business.
In his second post, “There could be a huge hole in your business”, he explains further why a bigger loss is involved when business owners prioritises new clients. The point is that most businesses jeopardise this crucial stream of income by fixating on obtaining new clients. He pointed out two paradigms that are often quoted and most business owners should be familiar with:
“It is 20 – 25 times more likely that an existing client will buy from you rather than someone new.”
“Existing clients cost nothing to acquire, new clients can be expensive.”
– Dan Travis
What most business owners do not realise is the full implications of these two observations. It is very important to understand that these numbers are not merely observations; they are realities that are critical to their business success. If clients are ignored, the business will fail. If either paradigm is not applied to the business they will most likely spend money on advertising instead of sending birthday presents or trophies to clients who have achieved something. Further, a business should be finding new ways of recognising, rewarding and selling to its existing clients.
And finally on his last post, “Why there is a hole on your business?”, Dan provided business owners three steps on how can they make clients stay. Here is his list:
Identify the Gone-aways
Gone-aways are the clients that you have not seen for six months to a year (this varies with different businesses). Most business owners are reticent about contacting the Gone-aways. They think that the people they have not seen for a long time may be annoyed with them in some way or they have left because of price or they thought the service was poor. You need to place the Gone-aways into a list of their own and send them an email. By sending an email to your Gone-aways asking them to come back, you generate more business for yourself because some of them will reply.
Organise client list and send more e-mails
If you have not already done so, choose a straightforward and free piece of software and start organising your clients into contacts and email groups.
Find an efficient and profitable system of obtaining new clients
This is not easy. It is made more difficult because of the huge volume of advice available. But you can do these two things below and begin as soon as possible.
- The first is to find somewhere on the internet who has large numbers of potential new clients. You need to be able to identify and to group these prospects. The best source of these prospects is LinkedIn. In 2015, LinkedIn is the place to find new clients.
- The second thing that you can do is add the details of your new prospect list to a database and start sending them emails. Create a list of new names and email them frequently with interesting things.
Clients are the lifeblood of your business. Effective client management and retention are vital to a successful and profitable business. Keep your eyes open for future clients but don’t forget your existing clients — loyalty is often rewarded. Business owners should realise that clients are their most important asset.