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Creating Lasting Client Relationships

The following post originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Window Fashion Vision Magazine and has been republished with permission.

Working On Business

Being in business is obviously about making money, but it can also be an opportunity to create a lasting client relationship.

Too many times those of us who own a business get caught up looking at the so-called “bottom line.”

The problem is we hear (and sometimes use) the term “bottom line” to refer to the balance in our bank accounts. How much money are we making? How much are we losing? We have a bad habit of thinking only about ourselves and our business.

We forget that our client base IS our business.

We forget that being in business is not just about the revenue we receive from our clients but it’s also about the individuals, families, and other businesses that rely on our goods and services.

In the beginning, nearly all business owners try to nurture those client relationships because they know that they have to fight to keep every client they land as they are getting their business off the ground.

As the years progress and the business establishes itself and starts to have some success, the client relationship tends to get pushed to the background and the focus shifts to the Profit & Loss Statement or the Quarterly Earnings Report.

Are some companies “too big” to create a relationship with their clients?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Here is a “what if” situation for you… Let’s use Macy’s for example, they are a pretty big company, right?

• What if Macy’s implemented a new policy to reach out to their customers?
• What if their associates mailed out a hand written thank you note to every customer they served in the course of a week?
• What if those efforts resulted in repeat business simply because they were appreciative of their customers?

How fast would Macy’s become one of the most popular retail clothing stores in America simply because they slowed down long enough to change the way they look at their clients?

Right now, they may send out special coupons or passes for secret sales to their best customers (i.e. those who spend the most on their Macy’s credit card), but what if they thanked EVERY. SINGLE. CUSTOMER.

Unfortunately Macy’s will probably never do anything like this, citing reasons (i.e. excuses) like “there’s no money in the budget for something like that” or “we could never get our employees to actually do something like that” or “do you know how much that would cost in postage alone?”

Can your business do what Macy’s can’t (or won’t) do?

Absolutely. Any small to medium sized business can do this sort of thing and SO much more to attract and retain customers.

What’s the long-term value of a client?

The average family stays in their home 7 years before they either remodel or buy a new home. If you are able to cultivate and maintain a relationship with that client, chances are fairly good that you will earn repeat business from them. Add to that the fact that the average person knows 250 people and each of those people know approximately 250 people giving you a potential client base of 62,500 people for each client with whom you have developed a lasting relationship.

Creating a lasting relationship with your client is not a difficult concept.

It does not require some sort of elaborate scheme to develop a relationship with your customers. What it requires is being willing to do five simple things… things your parents or grandparents probably taught you as a child.

1. Be good for your word.
2. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
3. Admit when you’re wrong.
4. Treat people with respect and dignity.
5. Be grateful and show your appreciation.

If you can do those five things with every client that you do business with, you will likely never have to worry about the “bottom line” ever again.

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