Hi. It’s Michael Zipursky from Consultingsuccess.com. Welcome back to the Consulting Corner, where consultants learn how to consistently attract their ideal clients and significantly increase their fees.
I received a question from a consultant who’s had tremendous success at building their business.
They’ve been able to attract significantly more clients and now they want to figure out what they should do to retain more of those clients and ultimately have a more successful relationships and business with their clients.
How can they retain more long-term clients?
In sharing that response with them, I thought I want to share with you as well. There are three things (well, there are many more but let me offer you three) that can really help you to retain more of your consulting clients.
Serve your clients at the highest level
Far too many consultants worry about only attracting new clients, so when they land a client they then spend more time trying to still bring on new clients and not enough time really trying to serve the client they have just won to ensure they get the highest level of service and results.
Most clients realize at least over time that it’s much better for them to have someone like that on their side even when they need to invest
Yet this one action of serving your clients to the highest levels, actually will do wonders for your business. Why? It will help you to retain your clients longer. If you’re serving your clients at a higher level, and you’re focused on producing results for them, they’re going to want to stay with you because you’re providing them with more value and more results. If they stay with you longer, come back to you for more projects, refer you to other people because they’re so ecstatic and satisfied with what you’ve provided to them, that’s great for your business.
Provide the latest information
The second thing that you should focus on is really to provide your clients with the latest information. Always look out for them. When you’re reading the newspaper, reading different blogs, research, trade publications, whatever it might be – always have your client in mind and share that information with them.
You want to stay ahead of the curve. Doing so gives your client the impression that you’re on top of things – that you’re at the forefront of their industry and aware of the best practices. What clients really want is someone they can turn to, an advisor…someone they can trust. If you’re the person they see and perceive as somebody who’s on top of the latest trends and the technologies and the best practices and the industry regulations (or whatever it might be), they want to have you on their side.
Most clients realize at least over time that it’s much better for them to have someone like that on their side even when they need to invest; to have someone whether as a coach or consultant or a mentor, rather than having to try out and collect that information themselves over time. It’s much more efficient and effective for them to have a go-to person. That can be you as long as you are staying ahead of the curve.
Build a relationship
The other thing that you can do that’s really powerful is to work on building relationships. Not only business in a business context but think about what you can do to work with your clients outside of the business context. Get to know them – their families, their children, their hobbies. What are they really like as a person, not only as a business person but as a person? Before we see someone as a businessperson we should also make sure that we see them as a person.
Simply recognizing them as a person, learning more about them as a person and sharing also more about yourself can really strengthen that relationship.
This might mean taking them out for coffee, for lunch, for a drink. Whatever it is, getting someone outside of the typical business environment can do wonders for a relationship and yet not enough people do it. They focus only on business. If you’re only focused on business and another consultant or competitor comes along and wins that client over because they’re focusing more on the relationship, that will be detrimental to your business.
Instead, be the person that takes the time to establish a strong relationship with your client. It doesn’t mean that you have to spend every single day or weekend with them or that you have to share your most personal secrets. Simply recognizing them as a person, learning more about them as a person and sharing also more about yourself can really strengthen that relationship. Ultimately, we are in a relationship business, so the stronger the relationship is between you and your clients the stronger the bond – and the more likely that it will continue over time.
Give thoughts to those three things: staying ahead of the curve by providing your clients with information, building relationships, and as I mentioned first and foremost: serving your clients at the highest level where you focus on delivering greater and greater value and results for them.
If you focus on those three things in your business, you’ll be able to retain more clients and your business will thrive.