How much is a client worth? There are oceans of statistics out there:
- It costs 5 X more to gain a new client than to keep an existing one. Hmm, 5 X more what? I’m not sure what they are actually measuring, but let’s roll with it.
- The bulk of companies give 44% of their sales and marketing budget to acquiring new clients. Hey, gotta grow, right?
- Companies allocate a measly 18% to retaining the folks that got them where they are. This is despite knowing that an existing client is 60 – 70% more likely to buy more if they have a strong relationship with both the product and the sales professional. That’s a much easier pathway to growth.
Companies are moving towards focusing real strategic resources on the idea of LTV or Life Time Value. This is all about the HUGE value that exists in a great client. They buy new stuff and tell their friends and peers all about their experience. They recommend you and your stuff to someone new, thus helping in the acquisition strategy.
We were driving home from the annual Bacon-Fest party hosted by one of the sales megastars that appears in my book. Laura was holding her Bacon Oscar for “The Best Use of Bacon”. It was the first time her bacon recipe won an award in five years worth of entries. What the heck is Bacon-Fest you might ask?
Brandy is a realtor, a superstar realtor, specializing in single-family home sales. She is a master in leveraging secret # 18 DON’T WASTE GOOD. I don’t know anyone that takes care of her clients and celebrates the relationships she’s built like Brandy. The key to her retention and reference pipeline is how she CELEBRATES her clients.
If you bought a home from her, you will soon discover you are part of a community that she has built and nurtured. She is constantly celebrating these relationships. Bacon-Fest is just one. It’s her annual party where everyone brings a dish with bacon as the main ingredient. Each dish is laid out on long tables and waits to be judged. She has beer and wine, games for the kids to play, music and a chance for all of her clients and those just thinking about using Brandy to hang out. Everything comes to a halt during the judging and once it’s over, it’s a bacon feast! Everyone there is a client or a potential client, but you wouldn’t know it, everyone seems like a friend. Everyone has fun and marks their calendar for next year.
Treat Them Right
Brandy makes sure you know how valuable you are to her. On the 4th of July, you will have a package of sparklers wrapped with a bow and delivered to your front door. On Thanksgiving, you’ll get a pumpkin. In October, you will get an invite to the Octoberfest party. She host’s client cocktail parties and wine tasting and she still finds the time to create a client experience around buying or selling your home that is second to none! You have to get the relationship before you can celebrate it, meaning the whole client process critical.
She does not WASTE GOOD, instead, she leverages good. Each person that she has sold a home to, (not a house, she never uses the word house, she knows the power of home) goes out of their way to recommend her. She has a pipeline of new buyers and, guess what, every person that is ready to move up or downsize would make only one call to list their home and to look for something new, a call to Brandy.
So, take a little time to build a gratitude plan, strategize about what it means to have a client and not a customer. Think about the rewards of a relationship. You did something to get your clients, now DON’T WASTE ALL THAT GOOD!