Your current clients will respond well to the personal touches you give them. Do you have a system of how to reach out to them?
Business owners often spend a tremendous amount of time trying to bring in new clients that we forget about adding value or attention to our existing clients.
While I have utilized a touch system in my past business, an article I read recently got me thinking.
In ”How to Build an Audience of 1000 True Fans in a Noisy World” by Srinivas Rao, the author references Kelly Kevin’s work from a decade ago about 1000 raving fans and writes,
Reaching your first 1000 fans begins with shifting your mindset from “how can I reach more people” to “how can have a meaningful impact”? Instead of wondering how you get somebody’s attention, you focus on creating something worthy of their attention.
This mindset shift comes from establishing a business culture that pays attention to your existing clients beyond service delivery, as exemplary as it may be and beyond sending invoices and holiday cards.
My first business was a service business, where we designed, installed and maintained container gardener to desert homeowners and businesses.
As a specialist in this service, we did not have a lot of competition, so it was easy to stand out from the crowd. The challenge was one of educating people about our service as they did not know someone specialized in container gardens.
I sold this business at the encouragement of my colleagues to become a business coach. While I feel there is a lot of room for all of us coaches in the world, the online market has gotten very noisy.
Wouldn’t it be easier to concentrate on our existing clients first while we work to attract new clients? We know the ROI of our time is better when we increase our current clients’ sales.
Grow Existing Client Sales
There are several ways to grow your business’s average sale per client. These include:
- Increase the average initial sale
- Increase the number of times a year the client makes a purchase
- Increase the total annual sales of each client – which will happen when you do either of the two items above, but it’s good to keep this figure in mind.
To do any of the above, you need to be the first person they think of when they need your service or anything close to it. A Keep in Touch system will help you accomplish that. Sometimes only doing your service is not quite enough.
You don’t want your clients to take you for granted, and you certainly don’t want your client to think you take their business for granted.
Keep in Touch System (KITS)
If you read my Got a Minute Series on Medium, Tip #3 – Keep In Touch gave you the following tip.
Call them. Your current clients that is.
Simple, easy. It’s the start of the new year, and you can call them to say Happy New Year. If you are reading this later in the year, wish them a good … whatever the upcoming event is — happy spring equinox, 4th of July, etc.
No sales, no gimmicks. Just say to them, “Hi! I am just calling to wish you a happy and healthy New Year. Did you have a good holiday?”
If you haven’t done this before, they may be listening for the real reason for your call. But that’s it!
Depending on how well you know them, you can add some personalized comments.
Divide your client list by 10 and do that many calls a day over the next ten days. If you have way too many clients, call the top 100.
Trust me; it will make a difference.
Develop and follow a touch system so that you are communicating with your clients consistently. Consistency is important. I know how it is. We get on a roll and have a great start. The first three months go very well.
Then something gets in the way, and your system slips. One month goes by, then two and then, maybe you’re embarrassed that you have not contacted your clients, so you don’t restart.
Some clients may not miss the touches but others will. The problem comes when they don’t think of your company when they need something.
Therefore consistency matters.
A touch system includes how you reach out to your clients each month and year. There should be at least three touches a month plus you can have some quarterly, semi-annual or annual touches.
- One key method is through an email newsletter. However, if you do this, you want to send at least once a month.
- Depending on the type of service you provide, you can also include 1:1 visits, phone calls, birthday and holiday cards, social event invitations, or a personal email about a particular interest of the client.
I used to include my invoices in my touch system for my A and B clients because I often added a gift card in with the invoice. Many of my clients were restaurants, and they would give me gift cards to pass on. My clients loved it, and it put more butts in the restaurants’ seats.
Use your imagination to come up with ways to reach out to clients that work for both of you. What would they appreciate and be remarkable? In this digital age, these personal touches will go far.
Another touch I created was a unique card representing the anniversary of the date they started working with me. Everyone else sends Thanksgiving or Holiday cards. Each year I designed a single unique card, ordered enough for my entire client list, and sent them out monthly.
By ordering one greeting card for the year, I did not have to record which card they received. I also tracked how many years they had been with me and made sure I mentioned that in their personalized notes.
I’m just going to say here that when I sold my company, about 70% of my clients hired the new company and a majority remain with them today, six years later. I could say a lot about why this is the case, but I believe these touches certainly helped.
Your To Do List from this post
- Stop right now and call your clients as above and wish them Happy Something! Do it – GO!
- Review or begin a touch system. Set an hour aside to brainstorm what you might include in yours. Talk to your staff, your friends, even your top three clients and ask them for ideas.
- Choose at least three touches to implement in the next month. Systematized notes, so it happens as fluidly as possible.
- If you do not have a newsletter and that is something you know you should do, begin the most straightforward way you can, but start! Get some help if you need it. A free service that I feel is pretty intuitive is MailChimp. It is free up to 1000 subscribers.
Go for it!!