Let Your Clients Do Your Marketing for You
In the February issue of Scribbles I wrote about the first two parts of our new Business Plan and how the focus is on looking after existing clients, rather than chasing after new ones. Click here to read that issue again, or if you missed it.
This month I'll tell you about Part Three of the Plan – how you can grow your business through your current clients, without doing any marketing! Read on to find out how.
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As I said in the last issue of my newsletter, many people think that the best way to grow their business is by chasing after new clients. They spend a lot of time, effort and money on marketing campaigns in an attempt to attract new business. But what about your existing clients? What about the people with whom you've already developed great relationships? These are the people who already trust you because they know how much you help their business. Why not see how they can help you to grow your business?
Let Your Clients Do Your Marketing for You
Part Three of our Business Plan is about Existing Clients. Here's how we're going work with our clients to grow our business:
1. We'll complete Parts One and Two of our Business Plan, by the end of May 2014. This will give us a stable footing from which we can move forward.
Is your business stable enough to grow?
2. Then we'll decide how much extra work we can cope with. There's no point in looking for more business if we don’t have the time or resources we need to complete it to the high standard our clients expect.
How much extra work can you actually manage?
3. Next we'll review the range of Recalibrated services we identified in Part Two of the Business Plan, to see if they're still right for our business.
Are you clear about the services that you're really good at providing and for which you have a reputation?
4. Stage four is when we'll review our existing clients to see who needs which of the additional services we can provide. Not everyone will need everything, so we'll look at each client individually and consider their particular situations. We have regular meetings with many of our clients and use these to talk about their plans for their businesses, so we know what they're up to.
How well do you know your clients? Do you speak to your clients on a regular basis or wait until they get in touch with you?
5. Finally, we'll update our Cash Flow Forecast (which we're doing on a monthly basis) to make sure that we can afford what we're planning to do. The main marketing we'll do is talking each client. For some it will be a phone call; for others it will be a meeting. No real cost there, but if we decided to take each client out to lunch, we can use our Cash Flow Forecast to see if we can afford the cost and time.
Do you have a Cash Flow Forecast that you look at on a regular basis, to help you avoid any nasty surprises?
Instead of chasing after new clients all the time, why not spend more time getting to know your existing clients? Invest in really understanding them and their businesses and they'll come to you for more of your services.
And even if you decide that some of your current clients don't need more of what you do, why not take them out to lunch anyway, just to say thank you? Building stronger relationships with your clients will lead to more loyal clients and more referrals from them - that's your clients doing your marketing for you!
Build Better Relationships
Here are some more articles to help you do just that.
Use networking to catch up with clients – it's not all about looking for new ones at networking meetings.
How not to look after your clients – the sad story of one unhappy customer.
Sell more of your existing services to your existing clients – and look at new services you can sell them too.
How Do You Find Your Perfect Clients?
Instead of working with anyone who comes along and asks for your help, think about who you really want to work with. You don’t have to work with people who don’t value you and your expertise. But you do want to work with people who love what you do and who will give you the right sort of referrals.
There’s a great book you can read, to help you identify these people. It’s called Attracting Perfect Customers and I've been using it to help our clients find their ideal clients for many years. You can buy a copy on Amazon or ask me nicely and I’ll lend you my well worn copy!