Sales Success

by Bill Cole

   Do you have a client-retention strategy? Do you have a plan to create a steady influx of new clients? The lifeblood of every business is clients. You need to have a plan to delight and retain your clients and to help them so they help you.
   If you want to learn 40 quick and powerful strategies for building and maintaining a robust stable of clients, read on.

To Delight And Retain Your Existing Clients
  • Look at your clients as partners to help you grow your business.
  • Present them with a special report diagnosing and analyzing their business, at no cost.
  • Make a list of suggestions detailing how they could get more out of their business.
  • Thank your client for something they did for you.
  • Thank your client for no reason at all--other than being your client.
  • Spend extra time with them. Don't bill them.
  • Spend extra time on their work. Bill them for it and mark it "waived' or "no charge", so they see the extra value you are providing.
  • Remember your clients on birthdays, holidays and anniversaries.
  • Send hand-written notes regularly, thanking them for their business.
  • Make sure every client knows of all your services and products.
  • Create a task reminder system for them.
  • Be proactive in warning them about any potential harmful problems you can help them avoid.
  • Connect your clients with your other clients who may be able to help.
  • Give more than you take out of the relationship.
  • Continually devise ways to add value.
  • Provide a valuable free or low-cost seminar, available exclusively to existing clients.
  • Go to your clients' sites once a year for a no-charge two hours of walk-around troubleshooting/consulting.
  • Write in-house articles your clients find valuable.
  • Interview your client for an article or audiotape.
  • Give various awards to your clients.
  • Have a rebate system, where they earn points for dollars spent with you.
  • Offer to speak at one of your client's meetings.
  • Ask clients to be on your Research and Development Team.
  • Ask clients for advice in areas of their specialty.
  • Ask clients to be on your Board Of Directors or Council Of Advisors.
  • Send clients an appropriate book or audiotape.
  • Partner with clients on a mutually-strategic initiative.
To Find New Clients
  • Join groups and causes that get you outside of your normal universe of contacts.
  • Cultivate your image as a generous and giving person.
  • Ask for referrals from your existing clients.
  • Find people who are well-networked and ask them to be your networking guru.
  • Ask for a referral from clients to whom you give referrals.
  • Find exactly what your business can do for people and market that solution.
  • Subscribe to the magazines and newsletters potential clients read to understand them more.
  • Ask clients to tell you how you have helped them.
  • Ask clients to write testimonial letters for you.
  • Ask clients to send testimonial letters about you to prime referrals.
  • Write an article for a client's newsletter or ezine.
  • Buy, rent or ask to use your client's mailing list.
  • Create a joint product or service with your client and market to their clients.

   Client retention and attraction strategies are unlimited. All you need is your own creativity and bold execution to make them come alive. These folks already appreciate you and want to help you become even more successful. You continually need to take care of the most important part of your business--your clients. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.