It would be a lot easier on anyone who runs a business if they didn’t have to spend resources – time, energy, money – chasing new business, and trying to stand out from the herd.
Not only is it expensive to convince someone to take look at your offerings, it’s also a distraction. While you are out trying to convince strangers to trust you, your clients are being ignored; they have problems that they need someone to solve.
Sometimes it seems like companies are stuck trying to make new friends and followers versus trying to ensure they keep the ones they have.
While you are out prospecting for new business, someone else is prospecting to your loyal clients. Usually the competitors promise isn’t that it’s more affordable or quicker. In many cases it’s an emotional appeal – they are saying “we will be more appreciative and thankful for your attention. We will look after you, and treasure you.”
After all, products are pretty much interchangeable, it’s the intangibles that make you stand out, and it is the experience you create that cannot easily be duplicated – if at all.
You can never allow doubt to creep into the mind of your client. As soon as your client thinks there might be a better option, or at least another option that is about the same as what you are offering, the damage is done. You have to take every step you can to ensure than your clients never want to look anywhere else.
When anything rots, when people or relationships or business deals lose their integrity, they crumble from the inside out, not the outside in.
Pillars of stone, big trees, the foundation of a home, the integrity of a human being, the relationship you have with your clients, when the cracks are visible its usually too late. They have been eroding for years, the crack isn’t the beginning, it’s the end.
So what can you do?
How about considering how much you appreciate your clients. Just start there. Think about how much they mean to your business, and your life and how difficult life would be without them.
Try to feel some humility. Ask yourself why you deserve them.
Then ask yourself how many times you thank them, and what kinds of steps you have taken to improve the experience you deliver.
What do your clients value? What would delight them? What are you willing to do to keep them with you?
Don’t be defined by what other people in your niche do, throw normal and expected out the door. “Normal”, and “expected” are for your competitors, “absolutely unbelievable” is what you are striving for.
Stop thinking about new clients, new relationships, and stop spending your resources – time, energy, money – on strangers and instead shift your focus back inside your business.
Your prospecting dollars go a lot further when you invest them with the people who are already following you. You will be much more rewarded by saying “thank you” than you will by saying “Hey, look over here.”
You will get a lot more business by asking people who have already purchased “How can I help you?”
When you become indispensable to your clients they will do all the business development for you. Everyone loves a good story, so give your clients a story to tell.