After you’ve attracted & created clients and you’ve elevated your service offering, the 3rd critical element of your business development strategy is to build long-lasting client relationships.

We’ve all read the studies showing it cost 5-10 times (depending on the study) more to acquire a new client than it does to keep an existing client. Building long-term relationships with your clients is such an important, and often overlooked, aspect of growing your business.

How do we build long-term relationships with clients? First, we nurture our relationships – this means staying in touch with them.

Here are different ways you can do that:

  • Have a blog or a newsletter so they can see your name on a regular basis (ideally monthly)
  • Reach out when it’s their birthday or another significant date for them (their business anniversary, etc.)
  • Wish them luck on a congratulate them for an event or a project they did – social media is great to keep track of what people are up to)
  • Send them an article you think they might enjoy

The only limit is your imagination.

Sending Holiday cards is ok… but doesn’t help you stand out. The magic is in the details: emailing a client to wish them luck on an upcoming speech they are giving or wishing them a great vacation to Disney will have a much greater impact than sending them a bottle of wine for Christmas.

Again, you will need some business structure here to be able to keep track of all these details.

Another GREAT way to build a long-lasting client relationship is to anticipate their needs and be proactive.

  • Your client’s financial plan is 3 years old – offer to meet to see if changes need to be made
  • Your client’s website was done 5 years ago – see if it would need to be updated, refreshed. Or remind them that they should update their website pictures every 5 years or so (this is great because it’s not about getting a sale, it’s about being of service)
  • Your client came to see you for a weight loss program a year ago – you can reach to see how things are going

I once did a Business Strategy Day with an entrepreneur who has a wedding-décor service business. When we spoke about longevity, she realized that her business model was not built for longevity; it was built for one hit wonders: find a client, make a magical décor for their wedding, the end.

We brainstormed ideas: what actually happens after a wedding? Well…kids birth, birthday (for children and adults turning 30/40/50 – these milestones are also celebrated), wedding anniversaries, etc.

By the end of our day together, she had several occasions to stay in touch with a client for a long, long time!

She’s now building a very successful relationship-based business, her clients love her even more, and they refer her more clients than ever.

To nurture relationships with clients, ask yourself:

  • How could I stay in touch with my client in the long-term?
  • What’s coming next for my client? What will be the next step for him/her?
  • What small, regular gesture could I take to show my client I care?

Your mission, should you choose/decide to accept it…

  1. Brainstorm the different ways you can help your clients in the long-term
  2. Structure your business to centralize client information so you can leverage it efficiently
  3. Watch our online workshop 3 tools you need grow your business and have more time. You’ll find easy to use, done-for-you tools you can use right now.

To your success!

Sara Gilbert

 

P.S. When you’re ready, here are some ways I can help you design your success

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