There is a marketing paradox in the way most of us conventionally allocate our resources. We allocate significant funds — and often most of our marketing resources — in seeking out new business, when the golden resources happen to be much closer to home, in our current clients.
Consider the relative cost/rewards of increasing sales volume from existing clients, or even just retaining them as clients, to churning and replacing loyal customers with new clients. Then, add the referral value we achieve if we deliver our work so effectively that our current clients are ready to encourage their friends, associates and family to do business with us through referrals.
Accordingly, it makes sense to allocate meaningful marketing resources to client retention.
There are several ways you can do this (and build out referrals in the process).
Host a client appreciation event/dinner.
- Don’t skimp on costs; make it a great event. You can include a component where clients could invite friends or others who might be interested in doing business with yo.
- Send appropriate and thoughtful “thank you” gifts. (Obviously be aware of the rules against inappropriate gifting public servants/certain businesses, but in many cases their policies allow for some incidental goodies.)
- Send thank you notes. Always effective and appreciated. In the right circumstances you could include a gift certificate or other reward.
There are many other ideas and some marketing services offer client retention/communication packages. The point is that if you have any sort of marketing budget, generally your first tranche should go to retaining and expanding your current client base, rather than seeking new business in the wild.