Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
are “the Heart of Your Business” –
Do they Know You Care?
Part One of a Two-Part Series
By Dave Block and Victoria Munro
long-term relationships with your current clients and
turning them into loyal fans will yield big dividends.
The rewards personally and professionally can be enormous.
Growing a business in this way won’t happen overnight,
but following a plan to further develop client relationships
will result in solid, meaningful friendships and steady
Research conducted by a numerous companies indicate
that marketing to your existing
clients will return at least five times more bottom-line
profit than the same dollar spent on marketing to new
Building Long-Term Client Relationships
Works Well Because:
have already established a relationship with these
clients. They know, like and trust you, and are
ready to listen to you.
have experienced the quality of your service or
products and the resulting benefits, and are ready
to order again.
who know and trust you are much more likely to recommend
you to others.
It’s not only less expensive to market to current
clients, it’s easier
and more fun – you’re working with friends
you care about!
How to Develop Client Relationships
that Let Them Know You Care
Take the time and make the effort
to get to know your clients:
questions and listen to them.
and make note of their needs, concerns, challenges
out about their passions, interests and hobbies.
how they enjoy their non-work time. Do they read?
What type of books?
note of dates important to them: birthdays, anniversaries,
when and where you met them, and past business transactions
Set up a customer relationship management system to
easily keep track of this information.
Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to help
them and advance their interests whenever you can.
Pay Attention to Complaints and
Use them to Your Advantage
View complaints as opportunities
to position yourself as a candid, committed problem
solver. Research shows that when customers have a problem
with a company and have that problem spectacularly solved,
they become more loyal to that company than customers
who never experienced a problem. Time and energy spent
solving a client's problem reaffirms and strengthens
any trust that was broken.
Remember: Clients don't expect
you to be perfect, they just expect you to care!
What Do Your Clients Really Think?
Discovering what your clients really think,
and how they feel can be enlightening. It can reveal
problems that you may not be aware of, and expose areas
that you can improve.
If we talk to them directly, they may be afraid to
hurt our feelings, may tell us only what they think
we want to hear. A survey conducted by an independent
third party, can produce more valuable results. Consider
hiring someone else to conduct your survey. There are
companies that specialize in designing and implementing
If you decide to conduct a client survey, consider
clear goals for the survey – know what you
want to learn.
a few clear, easily understood questions.
Open-ended questions will result in more information.
offering an incentive or reward of some kind.
courteous and considerate of your clients –
is this a convenient time for them?
them for their time.
Analyze and act on the information
you receive. Thank your clients again for participating
in the survey. Let them know how they have helped you
and tell them of any changes you made or are planning
to make as a result.
Communicate Frequently with Your
Connect with them via mail, phone email and, when appropriate,
in person. Thank them at every opportunity, give them
referrals, acknowledge specials occasions, and look
for ways to praise or give them feedback.
Keep in touch and let them
know you care!
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Authors: Dave
Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small business owners through creatively-designed programs
and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker”
in the business community and loves sharing how to become
a successful business owner by learning the art of networking.
Victoria has started and run nine different businesses..
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