Are Your Clients Feeling the Love?

by Deborah A. Bailey

I'm sure it's no surprise that whatever you were doing in your business last year may not be effective today. There have been a lot of shifts in mindset, starting with how people are spending their money. It's not that people aren't spending, but they're making different decisions about how they spend. If you're not sure about that, consider your own spending habits. How have your priorities changed? What are you buying (and not buying) these days?

How are you communicating with your clients? If you aren't putting time into cementing those relationships, you're leaving money on the table. Recently I completed a writing project for a long-time client. Though I'd usually said "thank you" in our email correspondence, this time I decided to send her a "thank you" card. About a week after I mailed the card she contacted me with another project. Perhaps she would've hired me for the project whether I'd sent the card or not, but I'm sure it didn't hurt to send it.

  • Let your clients know you appreciate them. Take an extra step to let them know that you're glad to have their business. Send a thank you card, call them to see how things are going, give them a gift with purchase. Continue the relationship with them beyond the sale.

  • Don't just focus on giving out incentives to get people to sign up. Filling your list with people who only want a free gift is no guarantee that they'll ever buy from you. How about giving extra bonuses and incentives to your current customers?

  • Send your clients a survey. Find out what they want and determine how you can continue to provide it to them. Don't just focus on what you THINK they want. The more you please your clients, the more likely they stay and recommend you to others.

  • Focus on building relationships. If you want to create long-term relationships it's not only about making that one sale. You have to continue to be their "go to" person. Communicate with them by sharing helpful information or reaching out to acknowledge a birthday or anniversary. Don't only contact them to send your latest sales pitch.

  • Give great customer service. Be responsive to inquiries and solve problems as soon as possible. This is something that small business can excel in, so don't miss the opportunity to use personalized service to your advantage. I've had too many experiences with large companies that have terrible or non-existent customer service. Perhaps some large corporations feel they can ignore their clients, but small businesses do so at their peril. Make sure your communications (from written correspondence to how you speak to people on the phone) reflects positively on your business.

  • Adding more and more prospects isn't going to help you if you're not showing appreciation to the clients you already have. Let them know that they're important and that you value their business.

    Copyright © 2009 Deborah A. Bailey

    Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.”

    1 comment

    camilynn said...

    An insightfull post on "Are Your Clients Feeling the Love?".And I would like to say that I'm living my dream of owning my own business and working from home earning equally or more than the regular jobs by using

    John- Own a new business

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