Do you realize the value of existing clients?

Last updated by Seth Daily [SSW] about 2 months ago.See history

It's often quoted in marketing circles that it costs between 60% and 600% more to sell to new clients as opposed to existing ones. This means you should nurture your existing client relationships during and after a project, as you have a much better chance of getting more work from them than from a new client.

  1. Managers should encourage their developers to practice "Client Love"

  2. Managers should practice "Client Love" themselves with 2 main strategies:

Tip: Get in the right mindset by always being interested in your clients' lives outside of work: find out about their hobbies, sports interests, kids etc. When you meet them, get to know them personally, If you come up with the perfect idea for a present for an important client, get the purchase approved by your manager and send it off.

Keep your current clients happy

Feedback has been received from larger clients in the past that they expect regular check-ins and guidance from senior staff.

  • A nice informal way to arrange this is to buy your client lunch once a month
  • Review the project for half an hour, then grab a bite to eat
  • The review should cover the project as a whole, any niggling problems, and discuss any upcoming projects
  • Do this free of charge

Regular check-ins are an important part of the broader key topic of communication. For current clients, a week must not pass without a phone call or some other contact. A lot of the time this will be emails from the developer. Almost all disputes arise when you don't speak to a client for a period of time - annoyances can fester and small misunderstandings can turn into real problems.

A "client relationship problem" is when you have said "no" to a client and they let you know that they strongly disagree. In that case:

  • Tell them the reasons for your stand
  • Tell them that developers will sometimes do the wrong thing - clients have different opinions of what that is
  • Tell them you are authorized to split a problem, offer them the solution and ask if they are happy with that solution

If they're still not happy you may need to refer them up the chain of authority (but don't get comfortable doing this - work on improving your own conflict resolution skills).

Stay in touch with past clients

Have a system in place that allows you to stay in touch with past clients, even ones you may not have spoken to in a while: send a useful newsletter to subscribers so your business keeps fresh in their mind. That way when they suddenly realize that they need some work done, you're right at the top of the list.

Secondly, have a follow up system in place so that at least one past client gets a call every 3 months. Make it friendly, not pushy. You should use a line like "I'm just checking in to see if everything is still running smoothly". Setting up a system like this will result in more repeat business and less need to spend money on marketing.

We open source. Powered by GitHub