A bird in the hand is worth four in the bush
We talk a lot about lead generation, sales, and customer acquisition strategies in our company's blog. But we also need to focus on customer retention. In fact, when you consider that most sales organizations close about one out of every four qualified opportunities, an existing customer is worth four “in the bush.” If you look at your conversion from qualified lead to closed business, then an existing customer is worth 20-50 in the bush. Yet many sales and marketing organizations fail to focus enough attention on existing customer relationships.
But how do you keep in touch without pestering?
Change your focus. Let them know you’re here, and let them know you care about their needs and their business success.
Here are four ways to nurture your existing customers:
Forward useful information. Send them relevant news articles they may have missed. Few people can keep up on all the trade publications, so when you see news that might interest your clients, send them the article or a link. But make sure it’s relevant. Send news on new trading strategies to your buyside trader, not to the sell-side connectivity manager. This should be relevant industry news, not a self-serving newsletter where all the articles focus on your company.
Check in consistently to find out how you’re doing. Make sure your account managers are checking in regularly with all the client’s stakeholders to get feedback. When you encounter negative feedback or a request, make sure that you follow up after dealing with the issue. A call to make sure everything is going OK is always appreciated. But be prompt on following up.
Write a thank you note. Email is pervasive today, but few executives get much personal “snail mail.” A hand written thank you note can be a pleasant surprise. So don’t wait for the holidays to send a note.
- Invite them to your events. If you are running a thought leadership campaign or holding online or live events focused on industry issues, remember to invite your clients. Satisfied clients are your best sales people at networking events. In this era of reduced conference and travel budgets, we find that people in the capital markets are ever more interested in attending live events where they can get some free education, a cocktail and a chance to network.
Your clients are valuable people. The right interaction will demonstrate that.