It costs considerably less to maintain an existing client relationship versus winning a new client.
Creating more successful relationships with your existing clients depends on developing a broader and deeper relationship.
Business is personal – people choose to do business with people that they like. Those that develop successful, long-term relationships with their clients tend to become a trusted adviser to those clients. If you become a trusted adviser to your key clients, they are likely to come back to you for more business, send you referrals, seek your advice on strategic issues and pay their bills on time.
It takes a lot of time and effort to make client relationships work year after year. As such, you should ensure that you are focusing on developing the right relationships. Start by focusing on your key clients – those that send you the most work, have the potential to send more business your way and, most importantly, are profitable.
Once you have identified your key clients, create a 12-month plan which focuses on how you are going to develop that relationship. Focus on how you can add value, from the client’s perspective.
Schedule regular catch up meetings or calls with your client. If applicable, offer some free training sessions for their staff. Most importantly, make sure you understand your client’s expectations and ensure that you always deliver to, or exceed those expectations.
Focus on moving from being reactive to being more proactive. Your clients will value this and your business relationship should continue to prosper as a result.