Win, retain and gain
This blog looks at the relationship between winning a client, retaining a client and gaining repeat business. Would you be surprised to learn that it all comes down to communication? Listening, acknowledging, understanding and responding to your new client, your old client, your loyal client.
Many firms go about it all wrong by doing the same thing with all of these when they should be making changes depending on the situation. They fail to understand how this relationship works and how they should communicate with their clients.
Be a great listener
If you want your clients to be thrilled and keep coming back, as well as new clients running towards you, you need to learn how to be a great listener. Look at the person you’re speaking with, keep your mouth closed, acknowledge what they have said and don’t be afraid to confirm what you believe they have shared with you.
Curiosity lies behind every great listener so be attentive and genuinely interested in what others.
Maintain the relationships
When it comes to maintaining relationships, there are a few tried and tested way. None of them are rocket science, they just boil down to good, old common sense and thoughtfulness. So, if you’re focused on client retention, you must ask yourself some key questions:
- Are you proactive? Are you reaching out to your clients even if they don’t have anything specific they need from you?
- How is your communication with them? Are you consultative, patient, forthcoming, and non-arrogant when talking to your clients?
Client maintenance means that you have a habit of staying in touch with your clients, and reaching out with a valuable insight or thoughtful comment every now and then so that they know that each time you contact them, it’s not just about the next job or paying a bill. That’s key in getting them to stay with you and buy again.
Expand beyond business
Managing your clients and creating better and lasting relationships means showing interest in them and being thoughtful. Show that you remember special events in their life, like wishing them well for the holidays or congratulating them on their engagement.
Appreciate them by thanking them for new business or a referral. Make sure to offer industry insight and share updates you have learnt. Ask them for feedback and insights into industry events, so that they know your relationship is a two way street. Go beyond the matter you are working on 1:1 and get to know their team. Extend your relationship into their business, as you’ll learn more and have the potential to be more useful and insightful as a result.
Work on yourself – be a thought leader
You’d be surprised how important it to work on yourself. Self improvement and continual learning can be a big bonus for clients, especially if you’re development is in the interests of their business and industry. By learning more independently, you will have more to contribute. So read a little extra each day, take notes and extend yourself. You’ll soon develop insights worth sharing, as you seek to grow respect in areas you are both interested and expert in.