In this part of the series: “How Small and Mid Sized Firms Grow” we’ll discuss how to retain clients.
The key to growth is first to retain ones existing client base, even before they look for prospects to convert into clients. Unless you are a public utility or have some sort of monopoly you always have competitors looking to grow by wooing away your clients. And it is far easier to hold onto your clients if you do things right then penetrating a new account.
So how does one retain clients? Here is a top 10 list, though one can add many more.
1. They can simply do any thing the client asks for, including lowering prices. This however may lead to retaining unprofitable business, particularly when one dominant client knows how valuable they are to you and continues to demand lower and lower prices.
2. They can volunteer price reductions, before the client requests them; lock them up.
3. They can negotiate trade offs for price concessions, such as higher volume.
4. They can provide value added services to cost justify their prices, similar to what the airlines do with their frequent flyer programs, with various perks.
5. They can concentrate on building a special relationship so that pricing is not nearly as important as the quality, service, reliability and other factors that they provide. Building a relationship requires having the quality staff to be there for your client, providing constant attention to their needs, making sure you are asking for honest feedback so you can fix any perceived problems before they become an issue, attending to their needs and making them feel special, being a fountain of knowledge for them, etc.
6. They can quantify and document the value of their service in absolute dollar terms, so that their client fully understands that they are profit center for the client and not a cost center.
7. They can become an extension of their client business and make themselves critical and invaluable, so the client could not even think about separating themselves from you.
8. They can provide things to their client that their competitors can not; this may include creating important proprietary intellectual property.
9. They can identify and protect their client from all sorts of legal and financial risks and do so more effectively then their competitors.
10. They can simply be the best competitor out there and make their client aware of this fact so they are not seriously tempted to look else ware for the products and services you provide.
Our next blog will discuss how to win over prospects.
To see all articles in this series please go to http://optimal-mgt.com/blog.
Optimal Management is the premier management consulting company to the staffing industry. We act as mentors to owners and managers to maximize their sales, profits and value of their company. We become an extension of our clients operations and are there for all of their staffing and business needs, from sales, marketing and compensation plans, to finance, M&A, general management and everything in between.
We welcome your questions as to personal and business challenges you face in order to grow.