Servicing Clients is a Selling Opportunity
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Posted by: Admin
By Jennifer Leake CMC
Statistics say it costs 5 to 10
times more to get a new client versus getting more work from current
clients. I’m not suggesting you
shouldn’t invest time in getting new business, but "mining” existing clients
for additional work should definitely be on the top of your list. With current clients, you have an established
relationship, knowledge of their business and a trust relationship. Getting more depends on how you develop the
relationship, how well you know the client and their needs, demonstration of
expertise and commitment, and how much they like working with you (i.e. trust
Consider each client individually
for how well you know your contact, other contacts that could be valuable
within the organization, and how well you know their current and 2012
needs. If you find you don’t know much
at all about your current clients (other than your current project), you may be
missing some low-hanging fruit - new business opportunities with them.
Here are some suggestions on how to
gain more work from current clients:
in touch. Clients have two types of needs –
anticipated and unanticipated.
Sometimes you don’t see clients (especially former ones) as often
as you’d like, so be first in line for unanticipated needs with a system
that meets their desired frequency of contact. Would they prefer a phone call, and if
so, how often? Should you use email
or a postcard? Ask your clients –
"I’d like to have a better understanding of your on-going needs and
challenges. How would you like me
to stay in touch, and how often should I call or email to stay
up-to-date?” Face-to-face meetings
are ideal, but this may not always be possible. Schedule "update” calls or meetings in
your calendar for the year. These
meetings are a time to listen and learn rather than advise and
educate. What’s their pain and how
can you help? - even if it’s a
recommendation to someone other than yourself.
sure clients are aware of ALL the services you provide.
Even your most reliable client may not know all you offer. Showcase your expertise with articles,
Create a survey or questionnaire that addresses issues or
challenges you can offer help with – and write a "special report” on your
findings and schedule a debrief with the client. One consultant shared she sends a
personal letter once a year to all clients that includes a list of all
services, with the ones they’ve used checked off.
clients what they need. Get their feedback on new challenges
they are facing and how you can position yourself in a proactive way to
meet this need when it arises.
Spend some time brainstorming with clients to uncover new things
you can offer.
for referrals. If a client has trust in you and your
abilities, ask them who they know (in their industry, in a related field,
a peer within the company) that might benefit from your services. Most of us fail (or fear) asking for
referrals and clients are often more than happy to do so. But don’t just get a name and number –
ask for an introduction.
Attracting more clients is all
about listening to their needs – not about being a solution looking for a
problem. Pick more of this low-hanging
fruit that is often overlooked.
Jennifer Leake CMC is Founder of Consultants Gold, an
online community offering consultants ideas, resources, support and
accountability to get more clients and
bank more money. She’s the author of
"Million Dollar Handshake: How to Introduce Yourself to a Million Dollars Worth
of Business” and the twice weekly "Quick Action Tips for Consultants”. She can be reached at Jennifer@ConsultantsGold.com.