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Do you believe that competitors are stealing your clients? The reality is that you are probably giving your clients away. They are not being stolen. Stop giving them away.
Many years ago I worked in the marketing department for an insurance company and I loved my job and boss (lucky me). People from other departments would ask me how I got my job and how they could get into my department.
I would tell them about my boss, job and what they needed to do to get into my department if a position became open. Other people would ask me why I would do that, they were just going to try to steal my job.
My thinking was that they couldn’t steal my job; I would have to give it away. I wasn’t worried about someone else getting my job because they couldn’t as long as I didn’t lose my job. It was all up to me.
You see I wasn’t worried because I had a great relationship with my boss, I was damn good at my job. She could trust me and I rarely made an error.
There was only my boss and me in the department at the time. She knew that she could go on vacation, leave the department in my hands, and not have to worry. Never once did she call in the check up on things when she was gone.
She never had to hear rumors of me doing things or had to call me into her office to chastise me about something, instead she gave me awards every year. She stood in my corner when I needed her and went to bat for better pay raises and good bonuses, every year.
Why You May be Losing Clients
Clients have choices. The internet has made it easy for us to look elsewhere for the services we need. It is our job to keep our clients from desiring to look elsewhere. I am not saying that you give clients a mansion for the price of a two-bedroom house, hell no.
What I am saying is that it is all about the relationship that you have with clients. A great relationship will many times keep clients from thinking about looking elsewhere. A great relationship will make clients turn another firm down when they come knocking, even when they are offering a lower price.
What my Lawn Guy Can Teach You About Keeping Clients
When the weather is, warm people knock on my door all summer long offering to cut my grass at some great prices. I tell them that I already have someone to cut my grass. Yeah my lawn guy is higher but I have a great relationship with him. I am never disappointed in his work. He knows exactly how I like my yard.
He is dependable, comes at the same time every week. I do not have to go behind him and sweep or anything. When he is done, my yard looks just as I want it, thanks to him. I don’t have to be there when he comes; he knows what I want and does the job. I don’t have to watch him work to make sure it is right and if I am not home, he doesn’t do a half ass job.
He knows my kids and he is nice to them. He takes a little time to chat with me and remembers the things that I tell him that are going on in our lives. He will ask is my youngest son still drawing, is he taking drawing classes or older son still playing basketball, did he try out for the basketball team?
He remembers my birthday and gives me a card in my hand; if I am not home, he leaves it on my door. He even asks about my mom, he continually nurtures our relationship.
I have no desire to look at another lawn service. He doesn’t lower his prices to get me to stay with him he gives me excellent service. He knows there are cheaper guys trying to get my business and he never brings it up even if he is thinking about them, and neither do I.
The Number One Reason Businesses Lose Clients:
Poor Customer Service
That will kill a business relationship every time. Many businesses work hard to obtain a client and then forget about the client once they get them. don’t think they don’t notice, believe me they feel forgotten.
When you build a great relationship, even when you raise prices, clients will stick around. They don’t want to risk finding out the next guy doesn’t care about them and they don’t want to have to look again if they are not satisfied with the next guy. They will justify the price increase in their minds because they love the service and relationship that they have with you.
Small Ways You Can Build Great Relationship with Your Clients
- Don’t be an ass and take them for granted
- Keep your word
- Be honest, they may not like it, but they will likely accept it because it is honest. Most people hate to be lied to or shucked
- Show them that you care (send a birthday card, remember their kids names, remember their hobbies, ask them about their lives)
- Keep in touch, even if is to just say hello and ask them if they have any questions or need your help with anything
- Say good things about them, you’d be surprised how words get around, make sure the ones that are being spread by you are good ones
- Say thank you and that you appreciate their business
These are some of the things that you can do that do not cost you any money and only take a small amount of your time.
Instead of complaining that the guy down the street or half way around the world is stealing your clients, take a good look at yourself and see if you are actually giving your clients away.
If you are losing clients, are you giving them away?
What are some other low-cost or no cost ways that you can build your relationship with your clients?
You can always comment on my Blog, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service Firms, sign up for my NEWSLETTER. or Contact Me.