Finding prospective new clients and more importantly, closing business deals with them can take a lot of time and work. When it comes to IT marketing, the more business you can foster from existing clients and the better your business retention rates, the easier it is to maintain your existing business and grow it.
Recent studies have thrown up some interesting statistics to back up this point of view. There is a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer, versus 5-20% for a new prospect. Some 80% of your profits are likely to come from only 20% of your existing customers.
Therefore, we can see that as important as it is to prospect for business from new customers, hanging onto those existing customs is hugely important. Maintaining contact with your clients is one of the most powerful ways to achieve this.
Here are some top tips on how to maintain contact with your existing customers and foster stronger communication.
The most important thing is to make it a habit to stay in contact with clients. Schedule the various aspects of your contact strategy so that you take these steps on a regular basis. Especially at first, making contact with clients outside of the sales funnel might feel a bit awkward, and for them too. Nevertheless, if you approach it the right way and maintain the schedule, clients will come to appreciate the fact that you are staying in touch.
Today, email is by far the most popular way to maintain a business relationship. It means nobody has to be available immediately to respond. Both ends of the communication can schedule their handling of their emails so that it fits in with their lives.
Any client will expect to receive follow-up business emails. Simply getting in touch to make sure everything is going okay and asking if they have any questions or problems is a fantastic way to strengthen the relationship. Emailing a client to let them know you are planning to give them a call is great too.
As powerful as an email is, nothing beats the power of speaking directly on the phone. Some aspects of communication get lost in emails. Inflection and intonation, both good and bad, simply do not translate into words on a screen.
Even if you are not in a marketing mode, making a quick phone call to a client just to check that everything is going okay with the product can really help to build a good bond with a client. Bear in mind that people can be busy, though. They may not have time to talk or they may not be able to get back to you. If you cannot get through, then that is a great chance to drop them an email to let them know you tried to get in touch and why.
Depending on the age of your client, social media may be a powerful communication channel. Obviously, some social media platforms are more professional than others. Many clients these days can really appreciate the immediacy of something like Twitter and of course, for IT marketing it always looks good to be in tune with the state of technology.
Many people are not aware of the power of Google Alerts. Set up Google searches that automatically send an Alert to your email if a client is mentioned. A quick email congratulating someone on a promotion or award is a great way to stay in touch.
We can all do with help now and then. Firing off an email to a client with information they might find helpful or, even better, a resource or service that helps them is always going to be appreciated. Even if the client does not need that help right then, it is the thought that counts.
Remember that people are busy. We can all be into IT marketing and forget that people have their own lives to lead. Just because you have not had a response, does not mean they are ignoring you. They are probably just busy. Just keep making follow-ups.