What Do Great Clients Do For You?
What is the difference between a good client and a GREAT client?
Take a moment and think about some of your good clients. What characteristics do they share?
They likely do some or all of these things:
- Pay on-time
- Respond promptly
- Have a clear vision of what they want/need
What about your GREAT clients?
These are the clients that do ALL of those things plus:
- Refer you new clients.
- Are fantastic to work with.
- Brag about you to their peers.
Ken Blanchard calls these “raving fans”. You can see why it’s so important to have these raving fans. They enable you to work with better focus, trust, and drive.
On top of all that, having great clients can both SAVE you money AND CREATE more money for you. Researchers estimate that it costs 6-7 times more to obtain a new client than it does to retain an existing one.
Add in that 80% of your future business will come from 1/5th of your current clients (leaving just 20% from other sources) and you can see why focusing on creating great customers is paramount to your success.
“Finding” these clients isn’t just the ‘luck of the draw’. It takes effort and preparation to turn a regular customer into raving fans.
But how can you create and grow your clients into these raving fans? You want to grow and nurture these relationships. You want to REAR these good clients properly and have them grow in to great clients.
Creating Raving Fans
The REAR method is a 4 step process to help you turn your clients into raving fans. Here are those steps:
1) Remember them. This seems easy but remembering more than just who they are can create a mutual relationship that allows the client to feel important and valued. Utilize your caller ID to answer the phone with a warm greeting (Hi Jim!) instead of just “hello, this is zzz”. This shows you are attentive to them. Additionally, be aware of specific details about them: hobbies, family life, vacations, etc. This will prove to them that they are more than just a number in a spreadsheet to you and will create genuine feelings of respect.
2) Earn their trust. Be honest with them throughout your business relationship. Be willing to listen and adjust so that the end goal is both parties happy. Proving to them that you are more interested in mutual growth than the bottom line is a great way to reinforce their decision to do business with you.
3) Ask them. Showing that you understand and appreciate the unique perspective that your client(s) can provide will go a long way towards creating a reciprocal relationship. Finding out more than just the “what” of their needs can also be a great way to provide excellent service. Asking why a need exists can allow you to help solve other problems and position yourself as a trusted advisor in addition to your business relationship.
4) Reward them. If they provide something of value to you, let them know. While giving gift-cards or presents is nice, it’s not totally necessary. Something as simple as a hand-written note or a public social media thanks can be a huge benefit to your relationship. Whatever you can do to go “above and beyond” is the key to making them feel rewarded. The best way to reward them is referring them business. The more you can create a two-way street the more traffic you’ll see driving down it.
REAR-ing your clients and growing the mutual relationship into a great one is what creates those raving fans that are key to your business growth. It takes focus, time, and energy but the results are well worth it. Spend time creating good habits for staying in contact with them and providing mutually beneficial solutions and you’ll see your business grow!