The cost of winning a new customer is considerable higher than maintaining existing client relationships. The key to developing a successful relationship with a customer is to try and develop a deeper meaningful relationship.

Business is personal

People choose to do business with people that they like. Those that develop successful, long-term relationships with their clients tend to become trusted advisers, and their clients grow to become advocates.

If you become a trusted adviser to your key clients, you are able to cross-sell. These clients will also send you referrals and seek your advice on strategic issues as well as paying their bills on time.

Obtaining new customers vs maintaining old relationships

The time and monetary resources to retain client relationships are much lower than attempting to attract new customers. It can be difficult to maintain relationships year after year, as a business you should focus on key clients.

Focus on key clients

Key clients are those who are a pleasure to deal with, send referrals your way and most importantly profitable.

Once you have identified your key clients, create a 12-month plan which focuses on how you are going to develop that relationship. Focus on how you can add value, from the client’s perspective.

Schedule regular catch up meetings or calls with your client. If applicable, offer some free training sessions for their staff. Most importantly, make sure you understand your client’s expectations and ensure that you always deliver to, or exceed those expectations.

Focus on moving from being reactive to being more proactive. Your clients will value this and your business relationship should continue to prosper as a result.

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