This is one of the most important subjects I will ever talk to you about. And, it is what makes the difference of being just an average producer and a top producer in our industry.
Why, you ask?
It’s simple – if you don’t take excellent care of your existing clients, they will find someone else who will. (Your Competition)
Why did you think corporate earnings have slowed for many businesses? It’s because they fail to place a high enough value on client retention.
Most companies focus all of their time, energy, and money on one thing… Getting New Customers In The Door!
But once they get a new client, they spend almost no time, energy or money on keeping that client happy.
This Is A Huge Mistake!
Did you know it’s five times more expensive to market to a prospect (someone who doesn’t know you) than a client (someone who knows and trusts you)?
Where do you think long-term profits and earnings come from – constantly having to find new customers OR maintaining your existing client base and growing it through referrals and renewals?
I think the answer is pretty obvious. Yet most businesses I’ve observed do the exact opposite. They spend the majority of their time trying to convince strangers to do business with them, and they completely ignore their most valuable asset…
Their Existing Clients!
Dan Sullivan, a top success coach, and founder of The Strategic Coach®, created a set of four habits salespeople and entrepreneurs need to practice in order to maintain their existing clients, and generate automatic, unsolicited referrals.
Here Are Dan Sullivan’s Four Refer-ability Habits:
1. Show Up On Time
How often do service providers show up late, return calls late, or keep their clients waiting? This creates a feeling of anger and resentment and make your clients feel like you don’t respect or value their time.
Don’t make this mistake – return calls when promised, and show up to all appointments and seminars on time.
2. Do What You Say
How many salespeople and service providers promise you the world before they have your money, then fall far short of providing the service they originally promised after they have your money?
This may get a company the sale once, but no one will ever repeat purchase from them since they didn’t do what they originally promised.
3. Finish What You Start
Builders and contractors are notorious for not finishing what they start. All of us have experienced entering into an agreement with a service provider who does half the work, and then stops for one reason or another and never completes the job.
Make sure you finish what you start with all of your clients – that means sticking with them all the way through negotiating for a better financial aid package, and making sure they get what they deserved at the different schools they applied to.
Don’t make the mistake of only focusing on signing up new clients without also completing the service for your existing clients.
Remember, you want your existing clients to renew with you next year.
4. Say Please And Thank You
When was the last time a service provider said “please” and “thank you” and genuinely meant it? You must show appreciation for your clients – they are the lifeblood of your business. Make sure you treat them like gold!
Sullivan’s Four Refer ability Habits sound deceptively simple, don’t they? The problem is not 1 in 100 businesses actually practice these four simple skills consistently.
Here are two additional habits that I feel are necessary for you to automatically generate referrals and renewals:
5. Under-promise And Over-deliver
Most salespeople do the exact opposite of this – they promise you the world, and automatically set their clients up for disappointment.
Always promise your clients less than what you think you can accomplish. This way, when your results are better than expected, they think you walk on water, and end up referring and renewing with you.
If, on the other hand, you promise you will get your clients a consistent 25% return on their investment, you are bound to disappoint them which means they won’t be referring or renewing with you and they will tell, at least, 5 – 10 of their friends not to use your services.
Don’t make this mistake – instead under-promise and over-deliver.
6. Bond With Your Clients
Most businesses don’t have any idea how to “bond” with their clients. They feel business relationships should be treated differently than personal relationships.
They Are Dead Wrong!
People are people, and they enjoy the emotions of love, respect, friendship, closeness, honesty, integrity, recognition, etc., regardless of whether the relationship is business or personal.
Don’t try to fight this. Instead, look at all of your clients as friends, and treat them that way.
Send them written correspondence once a month to keep in touch with them. I love using a monthly newsletter for this!
Send them unexpected gifts (like books, audiotapes, brownies) to let them know how much you appreciate them.
Admit when you’re wrong instead of arguing and send apology letters or gifts.
Recognize them in your newsletter and let them know they’re special and make personal calls to your best clients to see how they’re doing.
If you consistently practice these six habits over the next 90 days, you will start to see a dramatic change in your business. Business will start to flow to you almost automatically without you having to push so hard for it.
You will also begin to enjoy your business and your clients more, and it will start to feel more like fun instead of work.
Also, make sure you constantly listen to your clients – what they like, what they don’t like, why they bought from you, why they renewed with you, what other products and services you can provide for them, etc.
Your clients have all the answers if you listen to them.
“Give your clients what they want, and then give them a little bit more!”
Would you like to learn:
- A step-by-step fool-proof track to follow to consistently generate referrals.
- How to set yourself apart so your clients want to refer you!
- How to talk about referrals without sounding pushy or needy.
- How to properly set up Joint Ventures to cash in on referrals.
Take the next step… Click Here