Studies consistently show that clients who have purchased from you once are likely to do so again, IF they are given the opportunity to do so. In fact, INC magazine says that “Acquiring new customers is expensive (five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one), and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one.”
If you take a moment to think back on your best client experiences, the ones that got best results and who you enjoyed working with the most, wouldn’t it be great to have the opportunity to work with them again?
Keep in mind; it’s not your client’s job to remember that you are there to serve them. It’s your job to make sure they don’t forget about the many solutions you offer. You can stay top of mind by keeping in touch, such as with a consistent email newsletter (like the one we publish EACH week here at Smart Simple Marketing), a well-maintained blog and even a personal phone call.
I can’t tell you how many times my picking up the phone to “check-in” with a client has resulted in additional business. But more important than that, the personal outreach has developed a strong friendship with my clients who often come to me for other referrals, advice and support on various issues.
If you’d like to reach out to a few past clients of your own to check in with them, see what’s happening in their life/business and, if appropriate, re-engage them as a client, you might be wondering how to do so in an authentic way.
Here are seven different options for reasons you can authentically reach out to your past clients and start a new conversation:
1. Share an article you read (or one you wrote) – It’s important that you stay “in the know” in your industry and on top of evolving trends. As you do your daily reading (yes, you should be learning something about your industry at least once a day), keep your clients in mind. If you come across an article you know would be of interest to their particular situation, reach out to share it with them. If you have written a piece on a topic you know they are concerned about, be sure to share that as well.
2. Congratulate them – Be sure to follow your client’s blogs, email newsletters and social media profiles. When they share a win, celebrate and congratulate them on their success. This lets them know you are still following them and sincerely interested in seeing them succeed.
3. Ask what kind of opportunities they are currently looking for – They may be pursuing new opportunities or a particular type of customer and you may be none the wiser. Find out exactly what opportunities they are seeking so you can help connect them with the right people as they move forward.
4. Invite them to an event you’re hosting – If you are hosting an event of any kind, local, virtual or otherwise, be sure to invite your clients. Better yet, give them a discounted or complementary pass as your guest! Don’t assume they will have seen the emails or social media posts. They may have missed it. Plus, a personal invitation will make them feel like a VIP! (And wouldn’t you love to have someone who has enjoyed your services and benefited from your expertise in the room sharing with others how great your products and services are?
5. Give them a referral – Once you know what kind of opportunities they are looking for, support their efforts to grow their business. Refer them to someone else in your network that is in need of the exact solutions they offer.
6. Introduce them to someone they need to know – Look for opportunities to connect people in your network. You may be able to create for your client an opportunity for a new joint venture or partnership. Or you may come across someone you know they’d enjoy developing a relationship with or who shares a personal interest with them. Develop a reputation for being a connector and you’ll keep folks coming back to you to ask for your assistance.
7. Give them a gift – I love giving gifts for no particular reason, especially to people I really like. If you create a new product, give one to past clients to say thank you! Take them out for coffee. Invite them to a client appreciation event. Such gifts don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. It really is the thought that counts.
Staying in touch with your clients certainly does require effort, but isn’t it well worth it? Being in business is about being of service to others, and developing strong relationships with your clients is certainly the best way to create a fulfilling, sustainable and profitable business. The fact that it’s five to ten times less expensive than enrolling new clients doesn’t hurt either! Use the suggestions I shared with you to create your own client appreciation program and watch your revenue and your reputation leap to new heights!