Here are two crazy facts:
It’s hugely easier to get return business from an existing client than to find a brand new one.
Yet most businesses NEVER FOLLOW UP with their old clients.
Just think about it: they already know you’re a reliable and dependable provider, and you’ve personally worked with one or more of their people. You’ve already got the network created, so why not use it?
Here are 5 proven followup tactics to ensure your business relationships don’t end with the first invoice.
Work with empathy.
You’re not just providing a service, you’re working on a relationship with a coworkerâ€”even a friend. Look for opportunities to learn and grow your own company at the same time. Mutual exchange of ideas and values will make you both stronger. â€¨
Go the extra mile, always.
Your current clients are your best future marketers. Their recommendations to friends and acquaintances will get you more business than the priciest ad campaign ever could. So make them feel special. Always toss in a little extra something. It will keep them coming back for more, and praising you to everyone they meet. â€¨
Follow up, but not too often.
Keep the lines of communication open. It’s a good idea to check in a couple weeks after you complete a project, because clients often need help with the finer points. But if you get the brush-off, wait a couple months and then send another â€œjust checking in!â€ email. Being polite and gently persistent is the best method. Just don’t get too invasive. â€¨
Your followups shouldn’t feel stiff or forced. It’s just a friendly check-in, wondering if you can help out a coworker at all. Don’t allow any artificiality or discomfort to creep into your tone, or your clients may sense it. If you’re relaxed and comfortable, they’ll be happyâ€”and more likely to respond with a job. â€¨
Keep track of your job timelines, and make it a habit to check in with old clients regularly. (Of course, if it was clearly a one-time job, don’t feel compelled.) Maybe plan to send check-in emails during the last week of each month. But don’t smother them in mail either… if you haven’t worked with each other in 18 months, sending an email every 4 weeks may be too much. Settle for one every 3 months. â€¨
Tags: acquaintances, ad campaign, artificiality, Auto, Bonding, business, business relationships, couple weeks, coworker, crazy facts, Draft, empathy, extra mile, FOLLOW, idea, invoice, mutual exchange, network, Proven, return business, time, Work