It’s one problem that everyone in business wants to be able to solve: how in the world do we build clients and customers for life without spending all we earn to keep them?
Perhaps you’ve never considered this insightful phrase relevant in business, but “it is cheaper to keep her.” It’s true; customer retention is still 4-5 times less expensive than securing a new client.
Okay, Darnyelle, that sounds good but how in the world do I do it? Well, first you must create a system. A Customer Relationship Management System that will allow you to keep in touch with all of your clients/customers even once they are done with your current program or after they purchased that stand alone product from your website.
By the way, yes I did say system. I told you, you need a system for EVERYTHING you do in your business – well, that is if you want to create wealth without creating a ton of more work.
I’m sure you’ve heard of TOMA – Top of Mind Awareness – if you haven’t, take some notes. Without TOMA (which occurs when your clients remember that you exist and the purpose you serve in the marketplace), you will be constantly spinning your wheels in pursuit of your next set of clients. Now, as I have mentioned in the past, a good business person never stops marketing and ensures that they have establish a weekly marketing plan that accounts for 10-20 hours of their work week EVERY WEEK. Yes, I did say every week. If you don’t learn how to stay in touch with your previous and current clients and customers in creative ways via your weekly marketing plan, you are leaving money on the table.
Most small business owners dread marketing because they ASSUME that it’s going to cost all the money they have to grow their business. Well, that’s not entirely true. Yes, marketing can cost money but there are several low cost solutions to creating TOMA which will allow you to build clients for life if you create a system that includes:
- Sporadic phone calls – each week, when I am completing my weekly marketing plan, I make a list of 2-3 clients – current or previous that I can call just to see how they are doing. I do not call them to sell them a product; I call them to show that I care for them. Note: If you create a client database and keep a list of birthdays and anniversaries, you can use this as the schedule to determine when you call. I still do this frequently and sometimes I am the only birthday wish a client receives. Talk about TOMA!
- Send a weekly e-zine – be sure that your e-zine is more about content that adds value and solves problems then pushing your latest and greatest product. Now, there is a balance to strike here because you also want to ensure that your clients know that you still can solve their problem with your products and services. It is not acceptable to send a monthly or quarterly e-zine, you must keep in touch with your clients on a weekly basis.
- Handwritten notes or cards – on that weekly marketing plan, be sure to list who’s going to get a handwritten note from you that week. First of all, email IS overrated and many of your clients and prospects’ mailboxes are flooded with messages that do not add value, so it is quite possible that they will miss your high-value, high content e-zine. To combat this, send handwritten notes. Make your goal to send at least 5 each week (just one per day). Use those who’ve purchased from you in the past, previous clients and hot prospects in this list and be sure to write a handwritten note to them. Trust me; it will make a big difference. Note: Create your own note card with your company logo and keep them on hand so you can keep your branding clear and succinct.
- Send all clients and customers a warm letter – this will let them know what you are up to and it can also serve as a way to get them to become brand ambassadors for you. When you remind them of what you do and who you work with (you can simply use the 30-second commercial formula I shared with you previously) and put it in writing, they can begin to refer people they know to you. These should go out every month if possible with a different theme or focus or minimally, every quarter. These should also go to family and friends. If they know exactly what you do, they’d refer people that are complaining of the problems you solve. You’d have more clients to add into your other systems and to serve with your Incredible Factor.
- Offer free tele-classes or training that highlights your ability to solve the problems of your ideal clients. No matter what you do, there is something that you can share via a tele-class that will help your clients and prospects see you as the solution. You want to again, offer high-value, high content, but you also want to ensure that you have a full resource available (some sort of solution) from your catalog of products and services that will allow them to learn more or completely solve the problems they are currently experiencing.
In today’s marketplace, you have to stand out if you want to be seen as the ONLY solution to the problems of your ideal client. If you want to stand out, you need a system that allows you to remain TOMA with a low cost to you. Try these tips; let me know how they work for you.
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©2011 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, The Incredible Factor Business Mentor and Coach, is the founder of IncredibleOneEnterprises.com and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step by step program for turning your passion into profit. For more information and a FREE audio CD “How to Use Your Incredible Factor to Attract MORE Ideal Clients” visit