Whether you are in B2C or B2B, acquiring a new customer or client usually comes at a considerable investment. In the case of B2C, you’ve probably spent quite a bit on marketing until you got to the point when your messages started to register and resonate with your target audience. And if you’re in B2B, then you’ve invested a lot of time (and money) in preparing/ revising that proposal, meeting several times with the prospect for demos and discussions, and responding to endless emails with even more questions and requests for details. In other words, you made a substantial investment to get to the point when that first purchase is made.
Congratulations! You “acquired” a new customer/ client. The toughest part is behind you, and you made the sale. Great! But what’s next? Are you going to let all that time and investment just walk out the door after one single transaction? Remember, you’ve successfully concluded the toughest part; gaining the customer’s trust. So what you now need to make sure of is that this customer becomes a repeat source of business for you, preferably for many years to come. This is what business developers call “customer/ client retention.
Once you sign up a customer/ client, you have their attention. Not their entire trust necessarily yet, but you’re getting there. Point is, this person is much more receptive to buying the same – or any of your other products and services – from you over and over again, because they’ve tried you, and are satisfied with their experience.
Now is the time to work on that relationship, and grow it into a mutually beneficial and long-term one that generates ample and repeat business for you, and a pleasant and beneficial experience for the customer. And hopefully, s/he will be so delighted with what you provide for them, they will share that with their friends and family, thereby becoming an active advocate for you. (This is the ultimate outcome you’d want for your relations with your clients as their word is much more credible than anything you could possibly say about yourself.)
Unfortunately, we frequently see cases where the vendor/ service provider is satisfied with closing that first sale, and then starts looking for the next new client. The investment cycle starts all over again, and the customer who has just been acquired and served is left with no follow-up or further attention that would very likely generate more and more business, and and a much faster and easier pace for that matter.
So the point we are making here is this; allocate ample time to acquire new customers and clients, and as much time as will be needed to serve and pamper existing ones by nurturing the relationship, and up and cross selling other products/ services they might be interested in.
Make them feel that your are genuinely there for them, and that they can rely on your honest and objective advice. Get them to trust you, and then exceed that expectation. If you get to this point with a large enough client base, those massive and expensive efforts needed to acquire new customers won’t be needed as much sooner than you know it, and you can sit back and enjoy that passive income you’ve built up and nurtured so carefully.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges. For more information about us, please visit our website.