Building your business requires that you not only find new buyers, but also that you retain your existing customers or clients.  The primary focus of this blog is sales training: how to find new buyers. But, keeping those you already have is equally important, so I want to spend some time looking at retention techniques.  

Retaining a good customer, client or buyer is much, much easier than finding a new one. Not surprisingly, the better the customer the harder they are to replace.  Business owners are busy – often VERY busy at various times of the year – and it is daunting to find the time to give even your best clients the attention they should receive.  Eventually, some will leave. Let’s look at why.

Extensive surveys of clients who leave accountants, lawyers and other professional service providers are pretty consistent in their findings that the number one reason unrelated to excessive cost or poor work quality is lack of communication. Lack of response is right up there too, which is a pretty close cousin if not in the immediate communication family.

Surveys conducted of retail establishments and restaurants reveal that the major factors – aside from excessive pricing and/or poor quality – for loss of customers are also related to communication:  being ignored, insufficient time spent with the customer, inattention, poor follow up, etc.

With time so scarce, whom do you spend time with or make an effort stay in touch? If the buyer is a one-time, low dollar walk in, you probably shouldn’t worry about how much you talk with them. If they are a repeat customer, spending, say, $20,000 a year with you, then you most assuredly should make the effort to reach out and communicate with them. More than once, in fact.

Somewhere in-between is a demarcation below which you won’t have the time to communicate with them with any consistency. And that’s OK. You do what you can do. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just make sure you never let an “A” level buyer – one in the top 20 – 25% in terms of revenue – come to the conclusion you aren’t interested in them and their business.