Manage episode 291853053 series 2895276
Episode 16 - In 2015 I started a healthcare SaaS company that was doing well, but was losing customers to competitors, wasn’t getting anywhere near the number of referrals I wanted, and felt like each time I called my software integrated partners, they had forgotten to bring me up during a large sale.
After speaking with business mentors and peers, everyone kept reiterating the same strategy over and over to solve my problems. “Build better relationships!”
In order to have a company that could sustain and grow itself, everyone suggested I needed to create strong relationships among everyone I did business with. But, that wasn’t easy for me. Being a small business owner I had to do everything from accounting to sales, to software development, to customer service, and there weren’t enough hours in the day to also build the kind of relationships I knew I needed to have.
After reading a lot of books with regard to retention and customer loyalty, specifically Giftology by John Ruhlin (and after many failed experiments), I thought I might try sending thoughtful, high-quality gifts to my clients throughout the year that showed I cared about them and appreciated their business. Not just your typical holiday gift basket or birthday card, but high-quality items personalized to each person sent when they were least expected.
What happened over the next two years was nothing short of amazing. I went from losing an average of 15% of my customers to virtually none. Also, I started receiving 300% more referrals per year by consistently keeping myself top of mind with everyone. I went from a handful of passive referrals per year to dozens of active referrals. “You should work with Nsure” vs. “You NEED to work with Mike at Nsure”.
I realized the reason my clients became so loyal and began pushing my service was that I was consistently going above and beyond what was ever expected of me. When you do that for anyone in your life they become your biggest fan and push your service on others because they want their friends to experience the same great service they’ve been getting. (Think about the last time you saw a great movie or went to an awesome restaurant and pushed your friends to go.)
Somewhere along the way, I figured if this strategy was working so well with existing clients, maybe it could work with companies I wanted to build a relationship with, but who weren’t yet customers. And, although it didn’t work with all the CEOs I implemented this strategy with, it ended up landing me some huge accounts I would have otherwise never gotten just by showing my appreciation in advance for their time.
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