Most service-based business owners dread the day when their work with a client has ended. Sadly, so many fall into this vicious cycle of working with clients, ending engagements and then going out to find more clients. This is the wrong way to build a solid, thriving and holistically successful business.
It doesn’t have to be this way if you create a systematic approach to attracting and retaining your clients.
You can avoid the quandary of suddenly being without clients by making sure you are always marketing and looking for your next client. Even if you don’t have the capacity to serve them now, actively marketing your business will create a rather nice low-hanging fruit list for you. Once you start your list, create an approach to stay top of mind with them so that when you have space to accommodate their needs, you’re positioned to get them as a client.
Building clients for life is a skill—one that if you don’t dedicate the time to, you won’t master. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Solve one problem at a time. If you try to do too much with a client, you’ll likely not offer them a complete solution. Instead of trying to do it all, work together to identify the most important problem to tackle first. Doing so will help them to get complete resolution in that one area and it will help you to get a success story for the problem you solved. Use that very first session to create an action plan and tell your client the role you will play in each step of that action plan.
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Seed next steps consistently. Make sure that on a regular basis you are seeding the idea that when you’re finished working on X, your next step will be to work on Y together. If you do this consistently, you’ll be planting the seed that your client needs to continue working with you to get the next phase of the solution they are seeking. Then, as they notice they are experiencing the breakthrough they’ve been seeking, they will come to expect that you’ll continue to the next phase together.
Schedule a separate next engagement conversation. As you near the conclusion of your current engagement, schedule a separate conversation with your client to discuss the next set of work you’re going to do together. Assume that it’s happening. This level of confidence along with the plan of what you’ll be doing together next is sure to keep your client engaged in working with you.
Business optimization strategist, Darnyelle A, Jervey, is CEO of Incredible One Enterprises, a business consulting and coaching firm that helps entrepreneurs and business owners realize financial and spiritual abundance. Jervey is an award-winning coach, consultant, strategist and a best-selling author with 7 books to her credit, including her latest projects: “Burn the Box: 7 Breakthrough Strategies for Standing Up, Stepping In and Igniting Success” and “Market Like a R.O.C.K. Star.