Everyone talks about winning new customers for growth.
Almost no one talks about retaining existing customers as a means of growth.
David Ogilvy famously did not onboard more than 1-2 clients in a year. His relentless focus was on servicing his existing clients so well that they never left him.
One can argue that retaining clients will keep the revenues constant.
That’s not true, because you always can sell more to existing clients. Sales are easier with existing clients than new ones because the client already trusts you and your capabilities.
Another way to grow by retaining clients is by way of referral. Long term happy clients will recommend you on their own. You can also be methodical about it by creating a system for asking for referrals.
How to Retain Clients
- Set the right expectations before you begin working together, document those expectations, and then manage those expectations by executing on plans based on what you documented.
- Over-communicate. This is more important than one thinks. Always keep the client in the loop, own your mistakes, and share what the client needs to know, without making them wait for it.
- Surprise your customers, by sharing unexpected wins and doing more than what they expected occasionally. You can also send them gifts. To start the relationship with a surprise, you can send a welcome packet with a well-thought or even a custom gift.
- Do what you said you will. Do it on time always. And, when you can’t, say sorry and give heads up to the clients. Make sure that the occasions when you didn’t do what you said you’ll, aren’t many.
To sell more to existing clients, close your notes to them with ideas that they can implement, related to what you do. When they get excited about some of those, offer to do it for them.
What more do you think you can do to retain your existing clients?