May 2020 “Keeping in Touch with Past, Current, and Potential Clients”
Michael Allawos, Principal Consultant
To say we are in interesting times is an understatement to say the least. As I continually state creativity is the key to success as well as tenacity in moving forward. Business / Capitalism always finds a way and the economy is usually better for it.
Having a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is important to maintain your list of contacts and clients in order to nurture those relationships to insure that steady stream of work and project or simply to stay on their radar for when the time is right. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
New projects are beneficial in many ways, they offer you the chance to work with new people and a wider exposure of your abilities and outreach. However, do not underestimate the value of current and past clients who might be willing to offer you regular projects that will keep your business ticking over time as well as valuable referrals.
Marketing yourself can take up a lot of time. It can also be frustrating if you do your best to write wonderful proposals but are not getting any work. In a world that is getting more complicated by the day it is important to experiment with various communication outlets to get your message out.
A Happy Customer Is Your Best Marketer
A lot of business owners make the mistake of focusing on potential clients so much that they neglect their current and past clients. This can be a big mistake. Past clients who are happy are your best resources for word-of-mouth marketing and recommendations. Don’t feel shy about asking them for a testimonial or reference in relation to your work. Develop a referral form (please see in our A&C educational section for a sample form) to ask for those valuable referrals, if you don’t ask you won’t receive.
In terms of current clients, you need to impress them with how professional and efficient you are. Producing your best work even under tight deadlines is what being a good product or service provider is all about. Communicate clearly, be friendly but respectful, and you could end up with regular clients who really appreciate what you do.
The Pareto principle says that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. It is easier to convince someone of your value when they have already used your services (if you have done a good job), than to try to convince total strangers to give you a try.
When working with so many clients, it can be easy to forget to update your portfolio to show off your best work, but that will be exactly what prospective clients want to see. At your portfolio site, and tombstones, you should have all you contact information and links to your best examples of the work that you provide – such as articles, website design, problems solved, products delivered, and so forth. Each item should have a title, and a hyperlink to that item so they can see all you have to offer. Put this URL on all your marketing material.
One of the easiest ways to keep in touch with past, present and future clients is to maintain email marketing lists. A service like AWeber.com Active Campaign, Autopilot, Hubspot, SendinBlue, ConvertKit, Omnisend, Rejoiner, allows you to create lists in your account, so you should have no trouble being able to create three separate lists to nurture these different relationships.
For past and current clients, you could send out a newsletter once a month with some valuable niche-related content and any new services you might have added to your business, link to your portfolio.
Treat them like they are special (which of course they are), and consider offering them discounts and coupons, or special service packages that bundle your offerings or even just an update with new and relevant information. Consider offering niche-related content for their site as well as your uploading and scheduling work.
For prospective customers, get them on your list first by offering them a useful free item related to your niche. It could be a checklist, cheat sheet or other item that shows you are something of an expert, and can help clients work smarter, not harder. Then send them more details about the services you provide.
By nurturing, your current and past clients as well as looking for new ones, you will get more business with less effort.
Creativity follow through and follow-up is the key to success!
Allawos & Company has helped and continues to help countless individuals and companies alike reach their goals and discover new potential.
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- James R. Ball