Does the revolving door to your business seem in constant motion? You land a client, work with that client for a few weeks, maybe even few months and then they move on. If so, it’s time to take a hard look and see if changes need to be made. What might you be doing or perhaps not doing that is sending your clients and potential clients to the curb?
We all know that building relationships with clients is key to success. There is nothing like that awesome feeling of working with clients for years and them not only sending you more work, but also referring you to others. That’s the kind-of relationship you want to strive for. Here are a few tips to help.
The Grass Is Greener Over There – Are you giving your all to landing new clients and not giving your 200% to your existing clients? Many do this without even realizing it. They put their current work on autopilot and then keep looking for those new clients. Now we are in no way saying you don’t want to market to land those clients, but you do need to make sure you always give your regular clients everything they need and more. And your work needs to constantly amaze them and make them feel confident in your services.
Remember, those existing clients are your bread and butter and truly can be some of your best marketing. Continue to do everything you can to invest in that relationship and let them know how much you appreciate them. A job well done consistently is the key here to making it work. But also letting them feel like you always have their backs goes a long way too. Be that person they count on to make their business run more successfully.
Say what? Are you ignoring feedback? – Are you listening to what your clients are saying whether they are saying it directly or dropping hints here and there? Look for signs and be open to making changes. For example, are they not sending you as much work? Are the responses back not as personable? Be mindful of the signs and work to make it better. Also encourage feedback, by asking for it. One of the key phases I use consistently is “Do you have any recommendations?” And I mean it. I want their honest feedback so I can improve upon anything that might not be working. Once I get their recommendations, I immediately act upon it as well.
I can’t take it anymore – Are you overwhelmed with the demands of running your business where it’s no longer fun. Now before you go running to Facebook to talk about it (never a good idea), sit down and realize what it is that is causing this overwhelm. Is it too much work or bad time management? Is it lack of knowledge in an area causing you to spend too much time on tasks? It might be time to take a few classes and improve your skill set. Or it might be time to hire a coach to go over areas you might be lacking in and not even realizing. Your business should be a positive so do whatever it takes to get it back. Which leads to our next point, are you the complainer no one wants to spend time with.
Are You Negative Nellie? Clients normally become great friends throughout the working relationship. However, be mindful that they are your clients are usually busy as well. Yes, it’s absolutely AOK to discuss some of your personal challenges, but what you don’t want to do is consistently be turning to them for support or always complaining. Instead of feeling that energy that you are a rock star, they might start feeling that the work is too much for you and start backing off. So just be mindful of this.
Be sure to keep client relations front and center and your clients will not only continue sending you work and love doing it, but also referring you to others.
Michelle Gibson says
Fantastic article Diana. So important to make sure your existing clients feel important and that you don’t just put them on the back burner whilst you look for new ones. Your existing clients are your key to success, they already know your capabilities and are using your services because you are providing something they like. Referrals are much more powerful than cold leads, so for me working with my existing clients and creating a long last relationship is of the most importance.
Damaria Senne says
Your raise good points that we should use to check ourselves, even if the clients are not leaving, just to make sure theyy don’t bolt.
Diana Ennen says
Thank you! So appreciate the comments. I agree, even if they don’t leave it’s so important to work on these continually. Michelle, exactly! A referral beats a cold lead anytime. Nothing like clients saying, I heard such good things about you. That just rocks! Thanks for commenting. So appreciate it! Diana Ennen
We don’t want to “bite the hand that feeds us”.
A happy client refers new clients our way.
Thank you for these great tips Diana.
Diana Ennen says
Exactly Jan! So very true. We love our clients! Thanks so much for posting! Diana
This is a great post. It’s so important to put in just as much time paying attention to your current clients. Often, they can see and feel your withdrawal from them.
I work on a side site, just doing a few odd and end jobs, and decided to reach out and see how all my 2013 clients were doing for the New Year. I got a response from someone saying she has never heard of anyone taking the time to do that.
30 minutes of my time really put an added value to my service!