January 20, 2010

CRM: A long-term relationship is more profitable than a one-night-stand

and charm may get you one date. Character, consistency, caring and
support will get you going steady. The same holds true for your client.
Your organisation may woo her to buy once at a high profit with
promises of service, loyalty, discounts, friendliness, but if you can't
back up your offering, you'll not have a long-term relationship with
her. To do this you'll need to change your perception of the way you
deal with a client.

Here are three ideas you may like to consider:
Think long-term

It costs most organisations money to sign up a new client. Depending
who you talk to it can cost a company 9x more to acquire a new client
than to service and grow an existing one. To get any real benefit and
profits from your client you need to have her on board for the long
Work out the lifetime value of your client

This concept should totally change your perspective. Let's take an
example of a pizza takeaway restaurant: Imagine that a person buys an
average of one pizza a week at R30 and he does this religiously for 40
years. You're looking at a massive R62 400 over that person's lifetime.
Isn't it true that you'd treat a R62 400 client a whole lot better than
a R30 customer. You'd want him to spend that money in your pizza
takeaway and not in your competitor's restaurant, wouldn't you?
Think client not customer

According to the Webster's Dictionary, a customer is someone who
purchases a commodity or service. A client is someone who is under the
protection of another. Winning organisations become trusted advisers
who have the client's best interests at heart. Those who do not look
after their clients now, will not survive and thrive into the future.
If you think that this is a trite statement, consider the following: of
the Top 500 companies listed 100 years ago in America, only 14 are
still in existence. Ignore the client at your own peril.
"What's in it for me?" you may ask. Well, if you become more
client-focused, you become more valuable to the company. And if you
become valuable, who knows where it could lead – more money, promotion
and status?
Employ some of the following strategies over the next 30 days. There'll be three winners: your client, your organisation and you.
If you go the extra mile and implement some of the ideas I put forward,
you'll see profitable results for your organisation and for you.
Remember, successful people do what unsuccessful people aren't prepared
to do.
Client Relationship Strategy #1
Speak to all your existing clients (particularly, the happy ones) and
ask them to recommend three other decision-makers in non-competing
companies that your organisation can do business with. This is sure to
lead to sales. Challenge yourself to follow up with those companies. I
guarantee if you bring in those sales, the sky's the limit in your
organisation for you.

Client Relationship Strategy #2

Get to know your clients better: birthdays, hobbies, sports interests
and the like. Get as much information about them as possible and then
use it.

Client Relationship Strategy #3

Get back your lost clients. Go through your dormant client
base and send them letters asking them why you haven't heard from them
in a while. Apologise to them for not getting back to them sooner. You
can give them a discount to entice them back. These clients are not
dealing with your organisation because it is taking them for granted
and not making them feel real special. That's the bottom line. 
About the Author

The Business Generator, Jacques de Villiers
is a professional speaker, consultant and trainer specialising in
marketing, public relations and sales. For more information or to sign
up for the free 'Marketing and Sales Strategies' newsletter, email

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