Sunday, March 29, 2009

Re energize your customer relationships

Tough economic times can sometimes present a struggle when trying to grow a client base. I recently read a great concept called "inside-out marketing". Inside-out marketing takes advantage of the strong relationship your company has with its existing clients by encouraging them to introduce your products and services via word of mouth. As we all know word of mouth is one of the best ways to build your client base.

Former clients serve as a great potential source of revenue, but few businesses stay in touch with those they once served. Here are a few great tips to help you re energize your client relationships:

Make a list of all past clients. Gather up business cards, address lists, client invoices, and past correspondence, and merge them together into one master list. If possible, go back five years and fold in anyone who might be a source of referrals.

Make a reconnection plan. Prioritize your list. Send a card of appreciation to your hottest prospects and follow up with a phone call. Send email blasts to the next tier. Make your communication personal, so it gets past the spam filters.

Figure out what you want to say. Service providers need to be especially creative in their approach. For example, you could send a card that simply says that you appreciate their business. Ask how they are doing so that they know you care about them. A card will get opened, an email may not so be sure to choose your method of reconnection wisely. Remember to make it personal! When sending out an email, let them know that even though it has been awhile you have been wondering how they are doing.

Choose a method and decide how ambitious you want to be. Whether you are sending a card, making a phone call or doing an email blast, remember that you are doing it with the sole purpose of reconnecting. Don't try to make a sale. Don't expecting anything in return. Make your client feel important and they will remember you the next time someone is looking for your service. Your success will depend on how well you treat your clients and the time you have to devote to the effort.

1 comment:

  1. I Love it!
    If were to go back and make a master list of all my past correspondence I would need an internal make-over first as just keeping my present week organized is a challenge for me. I love the idea and I would need to hire a FT PA! :)

    I do see your point however and wouldn't be nice...


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