Transitioning Short-Term Customers into Long-Term Clients
This could be the shortest blog I’ve ever written. Because the key to transitioning short-term customers into long-term clients can be summed up in one word: RELATIONSHIP
But I’m not a man of few words, so I’m going to elaborate on just a few of the many ways that long-term relationships can, and should, be built. It’s not rocket science.
Keeping in Touch
A monthly newsletter is excellent. And it should be part of your overall strategy. But when I talk about keeping in touch, I don’t mean generic emails. Get personal. Take the time to reach out to your customers with a quick note that necessarily have anything to do with business.
Example 1: There’s a hurricane heading for Florida. Let your Florida customers know you’re thinking about them. Could be just a few words of concern, like “Stay safe and let me know if I can help.”
Example 2: Send over an article that you think might be of interest to them. It could be an article related to something you know about your customer, like a hobby or a favorite vacation spot.
Example 3: Holiday cards are nice, but sending one card a year is not enough. Add a Thanksgiving card, maybe one for July 4th, or a card marking the anniversary of the date that they became your customer. The same is true for holiday gifts. A small gift like a box a cookies at a totally unexpected time of the year is worth more than the usual holiday gift.
If the only time your customer hears from you is when you send over an invoice, you’re failing at relationship building.
Trust is earned. Having a few lines on your Web site about why your customers should trust you, because you have won so many awards, for example, that doesn’t cut it. You establish trust by your deeds: returning phone calls promptly, arriving on time for face-to-face or online meetings, delivering on your promises.
We don’t often think about social media as a tool for relationship building, but it can be. It’s a 2-way street. You should follow your customers on their social media platforms. And you should post material on your platforms that would be of interest to your clients. Social media is a vehicle for staying in touch and establishing trust.
Do the Math
If you do the math, then you’ll realize that it takes a lot of one-off customers to equal the value of one long-term client who generates recurring revenue.
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