It’s that time again. Whether you swear by resolutions or at them, it makes sense to spend at least a few minutes (or maybe a little more) each year thinking about what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there.
If one of your priorities is to increase profit through better client connection + retention, here are three things you'll want to stop doing:
1. Stop prioritizing clients you don't have over clients you have.
As the saying goes, a bird in the hand is more likely to come back, bring her friends, and eat more from your feeder than the two birds hanging out in the bush (at least I think that’s right…)
Seriously, let’s break it down by the numbers, courtesy of highlights from an illuminating infographic by invesp (used with permission - thanks, guys!):
Wow, that's huge! But the story gets even better:
Still on the fence? Let's see if this seals the deal:
I'm blown away! And these clips don't even touch on the value of social proof that results when happy clients give good reviews + refer their friends.
Bottom line: Unless you are just starting out and have no clients, the smart money (and greater profit) is in strengthening your existing customer relationships.
The best part is you don’t need a huge budget to do it. Simple acts like providing personalized communications + engaging on social media can go a long way toward making your current clients feel like they matter to you.
2. Stop ignoring clients between business transactions.
“Out of sight, out of mind” is simply not a winning strategy. If you pay attention to your customers only when they are handing money to you, it won’t be long before they take their business to someone who cares about more than just their pocketbook.
To remind me of the importance of continually connecting with my clients, I've come up with my own version of the adage, “Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is watching”:
Remember, it’s not enough to be good at what you do (if only!) Others can be equally good. What’s more difficult to replicate is how you make clients feel, above and beyond your superior products + services.
This year, resolve to take that data you’ve gathered – whether in your head, on note cards, or in a spreadsheet – and use it to help you connect with existing clients on a regular basis. In other words:
3. Stop the "crisis" communicating.
I call this the "only-when-I-have-to-because-the-world-isn't-giving-me-the-results-I-want" mode of communications. It's reactive. It's abdicating responsibility for managing client relationships. And it's an approach that makes it too easy to blame outside factors for your lack of client connection.
Sure, real crises do occur, and you need to respond. But if reacting to external events is the sum total of your communication efforts, your business will stagnate from the lack of proactive investment in customer loyalty.
Avoid that fate by taking the time to develop + implement a communication plan aligned with your goals. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But it does have to be authentic, relevant + consistent to create lasting connections + success. (Need a starting point? Download my free plan template.)
Will this be the year you decide to grow your business through better communication + connection? I bet your customers will thank you…and so will your wallet.
(P.S. Tempted to skip this list in favor of “Five Hacks to Earn Six Figures in 24 Hours”? Read Martin Zwilling’s "This Is How Long ‘Overnight Success’ Really Takes" on Business Insider. Then reconsider.)