Inner Circle Sales Lesson #5: Client Retention
A recent study reported that client retention ratio is a lot lower than most people believe. This is a hard pill to swallow, but I am afraid it is true.
The secret is to provide service to your important clients as if they are threatening to leave you every 30 days.
You can do just about anything for 30 days.
Here is a phrase I want you to think about long and hard. Read it carefully and spend some time thinking about it.
YOUR CUSTOMER … IS MY PROSPECT.
There is another part to this lesson that is important to understand and internalize. It is this: You will find more energy and creativity trying to sign a new account than trying to maintain the business with current customers. What does all this mean?
Before venturing out into unchartered waters make certain that all of your important current relationships are solid.
Most people believe that their “return rates” from customers is a lot higher than it is. You might think your rate is … 75% or higher. Statistics indicate that the number is probably closer to 35%. How do these numbers strike you? I am betting that you are finding them hard to believe. Believe them.
Regardless of your stance on the issue, your short-term task remains the same. Call your important clients ASAP and make things right.
Okay! Now what? In each client meeting, make it your business to go above and beyond normal expectations. To put this concept into words, you must “WOW” your customers on a regular basis.
Don’t be afraid to ask your clients:
- How are we doing?
- Is there something you feel that we should be doing that we are not doing?
- Is there something we are doing that you would like us to stop doing?
- Do you feel comfortable enough to refer us to your friends? Why? Why not?
- For our promotional campaigns, would you put your current feelings in writing, and can we quote you?
Don’t be afraid of your good clients. Talk to them. You are seeking to improve your service, your relationship and your reputation. Stick your neck out.
Be coachable. I know you are looking for that “pat-on-the-back.”
These are nice. These don’t help you get better at what you do. Look for the some painful news. Then respond to this news by improving yourself and your business.
EXERCISE: Call ten of your best customers and reintroduce yourself to them. Ask them for new ideas and for their candid opinions and recommendations.
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