Keeping Clients in a Down Economy: Is Giving or Taking Better for Your Bottom Line?

By , Business Growth & Marketing Expert

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Sandra P. Martini - Business Growth & Marketing Expert

Times are tough. There’s no doubt about it.

That said, I had my best month ever in March and quarter 1 was my best quarter ever. In fact, I’m on target to surpass my 2008 revenue by June 30th.

I don’t tell you that to brag, I tell you so that you can learn from what I’m doing, which, by the way, is almost the exact opposite of what I’m seeing many others doing.

Hmm. . .interesting to note that I’m doing the opposite of a lot of other business owners and am having my best year ever-to-date.

So what’s my secret?

Quite simply, in an economy where most business owners are scaling back and taking things away from their programs, and therefore their clients, I’m adding goodies and little perks.

Rather than spend more time, energy and money to recruit new clients, I’m showing current clients how much I value them by going above and beyond, thus creating raving fans who are telling others and then those others are coming to me.

Is every person I speak with hiring me?

Of course not, when it’s a good fit and a win/win for us both, we get together. When not, we had a great conversation and now know more about each other (a new connection is always a good thing!).

Here are a few examples of what I do which may inspire you with your clients and leads:

  • Send a welcome gift to new Team Sandy clients (it’s a book which I highly recommend and feel everyone should read)
  • Send a different welcome gift to new private clients
  • Send a handwritten card to new clients and those I have a strategy session with
  • Send items via snail mail and yes, incur the ongoing fulfillment cost, if I think it adds to the program and increases the client’s experience
  • Send flowers or other appropriate gifts to clients who have a breakthrough or realize a great success (recent examples include a client who signed a book contract with a major publisher, another who stopped taking insurance and a 3rd who launched a membership program in an industry where you wouldn’t expect one and quickly got her first sign-up)

You see, it isn’t about how much revenue you can bring in — it IS about how the client feels when doing business with you:

  • Does she feel valued?
  • Does she feel your work together far outweighs the investment?
  • And, even when it’s time to move on from the relationship, does she know that she’s welcome back and that valued for your time together?

If you’re unsure in any way about how your clients would answer to the above 3 questions, it’s time to either ask or amp up the quality of your client experience.

After all, without clients you don’t have a business. . .

Creator of Escalator Marketing, Sandra Martini specializes in showing small business owners how to create a business with multiple streams of revenue while living their lives.  Known for her "tell it like it is" yet nurturing approach, Sandy's clients benefit from her over 20 years in the start-up and marketing fields.

© Copyright 2009 Sandra P. Martini

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