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Think BIG for Client Retention

August 27, 2017
Mary Jane Copps

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Recently an entrepreneur I coach was feeling defeated by the loss of a long-time corporate client in Montreal. Persistent phone follow up had resulted in receiving an impersonal email saying the firm’s current focus was working with Quebec-based trainers. But she knew her work was unique and already of proven value. “What can I do,” she asked me, “to keep this client?”

What was my advice and did it work?

To answer her question, I needed more information. We had a long conversation in which I asked a lot of questions about her relationship with this client – not just the details of when she’d worked with them and how much revenue was involved, but also about social interactions, testimonials received, all the details.

My client shared a story about her current contact at the company and how, years ago, early in her relationship with the firm, he took her aside and said, “You should be charging more.” This was a very important piece of information! This was the key to retaining the client. Anyone who tells you with confidence that you are worth more is a believer, and in all likelihood will champion your work.

“You need to take him to lunch,” I said.

My client’s reaction was: “But he’s in Montreal!”

We talked about what the client was worth, the cost of a flight to Montreal, the fact that she could include meetings with other clients or prospects if she wished … and that she needed fabulous shoes for an upcoming wedding. “Use points if you want to, but get yourself in front of your contact as soon as possible,” I said.

She did follow my advice and within hours of her return from a 24-hour stay in Montreal, she confirmed three full days of work for the client this year. She also had the opportunity to drop by the office of an important prospect, making a positive impression … and she found fabulous shoes.

Current statistics indicate that gaining a new client costs five times as much as retaining an existing client, making client retention definitely worth the price of lunch in Montreal.

#InspireConversation

 

Where’s The Phone Lady? 

Thursday Aug 31 – Job Search & On The Job Phone Skills, OWL, Halifax

Monday Sept 10 to Thursday Sept 14 – Customer Service Excellence, Marine Atlantic,  Sydney, NS & Port au Basques, NL

Wednesday Sept 20 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, with Futurpreneur Atlantic and TD Canada Trust,  Halifax

Monday Sept 25 – Customer Service Excellence, Willow Esthetics Boutique, Halifax

Tuesday Sept 26 – The Role of the Phone in Today’s Business Enviroment, CloudKettle, Halifax

Monday Oct. 2 to Friday Oct. 6 – On the Road in Atlantic Canada with Propel ICT

Wednesday Oct 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax

Friday Oct 13 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, with Futurpreneur Atlantic and TD Canada Trust,  Fredericton

Tuesday Oct 17 – Telephone Excellence, Canadian Credit Union Association, National Virtual Conference

Friday Oct 20 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, with Futurpreneur Atlantic and TD Canada Trust,  Charlottetown

Thursday Oct 26 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Bluewater, Porters Lake

Friday Oct 27 – Building the Future: How Mentorship Supports Prosperity in Atlantic Canada, with Futurpreneur Atlantic and TD Canada Trust,  St. John’s

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Cathy says:

    Wow, all I c an say is wow! Thanks for sharing this with us Mary-Jane!

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks so much, Cathy. What a great reaction to the story. It was wonderful to work with this client and have her “hear” what she already knew – and act on it.

  2. Eileen says:

    That is amazing. For years, in my private life my mantra has been, “Never take no for an answer,” which is based on a film I saw as a child. Now it is going to be part of my business.

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thanks, Eileen. I’m not sure about the “never” taking no, but I do know we should honour the words and actions of our clients. Especially in large organizations, an automatic “no” isn’t always the final answer.

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