If you want your small business to grow, one of the smartest things you can focus on is client retention. After all, you’ve already done the hard part with your clients. You’ve helped them find you, moved them through the sales funnel, and convinced them to work with you.
Keeping them is easy. Well, easy-ish, because there really is nothing easy about being a small business owner, is there? If you want to boost your client retention numbers, awesome. I do, too, which is why this article on client retention in Entrepreneur caught my eye.
The author, Shaun Buck, put forth an interesting formula for client retention:
Shared Interest + Shared Space + Shared Concern = Customer/Client Retention
I now think of these as the 3 keys to client retention. Let’s take a look at them more in-depth.
If you always take time to chat about personal stuff with your clients, you are far ahead of the game. In the B2B world, that’s pretty rare. However, I find that I can’t work with someone unless I know more about them. Are they married? Do they have kids? Where do they live? Where did they grow up? What do they do when they’re not working?
I believe that the better you know someone, the stronger the relationship – and that’s true both personally and professionally. Now, I’m not advocating that you share every gory detail of your life with your clients, but sharing is key to building trust – and trust is the foundation upon which all relationships grow.
Want to stay top-of-mind with your clients? You need to embrace the concept of “shared space” – and no, it doesn’t mean sharing a physical space with your clients. But you do want to stay in front of them as much as possible. Think of it as sharing mental space.
You can do this in multiple ways: monthly newsletter, written thank-you notes, holiday cards, branded water bottles, signed first edition of your book, yearly client appreciation events…you get the idea.
Shared concern means you genuinely want to help your clients – and you demonstrate that in everything you say and do. This means actively listening to your clients, keeping your promises, being honest, going above and beyond when possible – and doing it all with a smile on your face.
How does your small business knock client retention out of the ballpark?
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