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How to retain your customers

Now it's time for a horror movie ....

Imagine that your biggest client calls you in half an hour and tells you that they have thought long and hard about it and don't want you as a provider anymore.

What would happen then?

This nightmare becomes uncomfortably real for smaller companies dealing with large customers every day because:

1. They have invested too much of their time on a single customer.
2. They have taken the customer for granted.
3. They have forgotten about the future and just hoped for the best.

You deserve to sleep better at night and that's why you will get advice today that will help you to be proactive.

Here are your tips for maintaining your major customers:

1. Stop taking clients' money for granted. This is more about an attitude than a concrete idea, but it's a great attitude. Nothing is better for your customer relationships than to be a loyal expert who regularly continue to surprise them in a positive and creative manner.

2. Ask your customers what they have going on and what you can do to help them reach their goals. If you do it right and if you're being honest, they will begin to think of your company as a partner and not just as another vendor.

3. What are the challenges that your customers face? If you notice that they are moving in a particular direction where you don't have the necessary skills, it may be sensible to acquire those skills. Either you obtain them yourself or you get a partner with that particular skillset so that you can offer your customers more.

4. Ask yourself what skills you would need to have to take a step closer to your big customer. Also ask the customer what they dream about being able to get delivered to them - and make sure you’re able to do just that.

5. Surprise your customer with something. This is also about attitude. What can you do to give your client/customer a really good surprise to facilitate his/her job and make it incredibly hard for him/her to leave your business?

6. Plan to create conditions so that you won't become too dependent on one or a few major customers. It's wonderful to be able to bill large amounts every time, but it's also uncertain and dangerous. Make a backup plan if the worst should happen.

Now you’ve got something to think about.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.