Keeping your existing clients is the most efficient way to ensure the success of your firm. While some churn is unavoidable, the majority of client relationships come to an end with no good reason. Here are some of the top things you can do about it.
Network Have you spent a lot of time getting to know one key person in the business? What happens when (not if) they invariably move into a different role or leave the organisation altogether? Build as many relationships (especially senior ones) with your client as possible. They will protect you when people move around. It will also ensure that you’re in a position to learn as much about the client’s business as possible – so you can do good work and offer great advice that goes above and beyond the original brief – and share the benefits and impact of your work to a large group of interested parties.
Look beyond the end of the project They might have only brought you in for a single project but how can you build on the opportunity to showcase your other services and the insights you offer? By asking questions about the client and building a strong, trust-filled relationship, you should be in a position to demonstrate the benefits you can bring them in other related areas. If you close a residential property transaction, could you help them with their will? Or other investments? What about representing a company at an employment tribunal? Could you help them create a new employee handbook? Updated employment contracts? If you offer tax advice, could you help them with their next year’s accounts preparation? Or regular VAT returns? Or payroll? Ensure you remain in touch and offer insights between engagements so you are on hand and top of mind when the next need arises.
Offer the best impact, benefits and results for their money It is disappointing to hear that despite strong relationships and the quality of the work you have delivered, clients are still prepared to cut your services. This will mostly be due to lack of budget or lack of clarity about the benefits you bring. They think they can get more value/return for their money elsewhere. You have to convince them that you offer the best impact and value for their spend. Strongly demonstrate that what you do helps them achieve their most important goals – you are not just an overhead. How do you help their aims? Growth? Profit? Innovation? Working practices? Thinking? Continuously reinforce the benefits of what you do with senior executives – not just at crunch time.
This is just a brief selection of the top ways to stop losing clients. By being more mindful of your firm’s client churn and taking the time to look for reasons why, you will be well placed to halt the flow and become more efficient in achieving your organisation’s success.