How Loyal Are Your Clients, Really?
Why does this matter?
Because without fixing this … the reality is, you will never have a secure business customer base. And you’ll have no stability to grow your business into the future.
From choosing your niche to developing your skills, it’s critical to create a business that answers the personal needs of your customers. Connect with them at a personal level.
Studies show that it takes at least seven customer touch points for customers to buy from you and then you have to wait for them to be at that critical buying point to recognise that they actually need you.
So are you going to spend all your time, money and energy on chasing new customers every day or are you going to work smarter?
In corporate sales and customer management we say “it’s easier to retain a client who already decided at some stage that you are the right fit, than it is to find, cultivate and convert a totally new client”.
Be smart and cultivate your client relationships like they really matter to you
– give them extra added value
– go above and beyond their expectations
– understand their personal needs and limiting beliefs
– make personal connection with them in meaningful and numerous ways
Here are a few getting started tips to make sure you’re covering the basics to build client loyalty:
1. Know what your clients know. Beyond keeping up with your own professional education, pay attention to what your clients are learning. Reading professional journals is important, but it’s not enough. You also need to know what the trends and gossip are both online and offline. New trends in your industry are constantly evolving and it’s not uncommon for their credibility to be questionable. When your clients are given misinformation, they’ll come to you for the truth.
2. Build a personal interest. Make sure your impression lasts longer than the actual time you’re together by giving your clients things to think about after they meet you. It might be some basic comment on a current social situation or suggest a clients do food diaries or wardrobe journal,something relating to your expertise, just for their own personal clarity, then you have a great topic to bring up next time you see them. A fitness instructor once suggested to me that I check out the tri-athlons in Melbourne because I could handle the challenge. This had me curious and I actually googled the topic. I didn’t go as far as entering any tri-athlons, but that instructor now has a topic to use as a conversation starter with me AND every time I see tri-athlons in the media I think of her.
4. Invest in education. Knowledge builds confidence, so invest in education. You need to be reading and studying to stay up to date on industry trends and news. Studying current literature, attending classes and going to conventions and conferences are all investments in your business. Education helps you to be the leader in your chosen niche and will refresh you whenever you feel a bit stale.
5. You are not your client. A very minuscule percentage of your clients will think and act like you do. Don’t develop a business style that would be effective for you. Put together programs that will work for your clients.
6. Be your own advertisement. Advertise yourself whenever you’re in public by being the best representation of your industry and your business to everyone you come in contact with.
7. Don’t throw it away. Make sure to maintain a database of former clients and prospects who went through an initial consultation and didn’t sign up. You have a valuable source of warm leads here for the future.
Other causes of losing clients are:
- Lack of results. When clients don’t see the results they want or that they believed they’d get, they blame you or your product. Your number one form of advertising is word of mouth, your reputation is everything. So be honest and clear with your clients. Manage their expectations.
- It’s a huge mistake when a business doesn’t get clear on what the client’s needs are and zero in on the true problem your client needs solving. Once you have clarity around that unique solution you can provide it’s so much easier to actually do it.
Keep looking to find different, creative ways to connect with your clients and become their trusted go-to for your industry. Be mindful of your days actions and understand the impact you’re having.