Keep Your Clients Close to You
Posted by admin on June 23, 2008 in Affiliate Marketing, Business Start Up Advice, Internet Marketing, Marketing [ 1 Comment ]
by Duncan MacPherson, co-author of “Breakthrough Business Development: A 90 Day Plan to Build Your Client Base And Take Your Business To The Next Level” and co-founder of Pareto Platform
With the economy in a somewhat slow mode, it becomes increasingly important to take good care of the business you already have. We all realize our competitors are doing what they can to lower their prices and attract our clients. Perhaps they are launching ad campaigns offering discounts on the very services you are providing. My advice is contrary to that which tells you to lower prices to attract more clients. Instead, I advise you to make sure the clients you have want to stay with you.
I had a conversation with a fellow entrepreneur recently. I asked her if she had ever considered what her most valuable intellectual property was. What might surprise you, as it did her, is that the expert knowledge in your chosen field is not at the top of the list. What you know about that is important; however, it takes a back seat to what you know about your clients. The only thing that allows you to competitor-proof your client is your very own relationship.
One way to ensure that you take care of your clients is by profiling the top 20% of your clients. The Pareto Principle states that 20% of your clients make up 80% of your revenues. Take a look at your own client list, and you’ll be surprised at how accurate that principle is. By knowing about the families, careers and interests of your top clients, you can provide them with more personalized service.
The way to do this is to simply invest some time. Give your clients a call. Chat about the business for a couple of minutes; then ask them how things are going. Spend some time listening to your client, even if it does not directly revolve around business. The conversation can focus on a project, and then shift to the kids, or perhaps the house he is buying. Jot down notes, and the next time you talk to him, ask him how his sons are doing at their new school, or send him a card congratulating him on his new home.
Better service leads to satisfied clients, who not only stay with you, but also refer family, friends and business associates to you. Save the information in a file that is accessible each time you have an interaction (phone-call, mail-out or meeting) with that client. Each time refer to something you already know, and don’t forget to add new information as you’re chatting with your client. Used correctly, your client information can turn into a real treasure chest.
At Pareto Platform, we call this information F.O.R.M. Family, Occupation, Recreation and Money. The information you gather, and utilize in terms of creating a relationship with your top clients, is exclusive to you. It is the only thing that separates you from your competitors. Get it. Use it.