Make Them Happy: Keeping Clients and Gaining New Ones

Many small business owners cling to the idea that a good product or service at a competitive price will naturally bring new customers and keep them buying.

In practice they tend to focus more on gaining new customers than creating a good experience for the existing ones. Time and effort should be put into both. Fortunately the two goals are not so different, and there are some tactics companies can take advantage of.

Tee Off

Golf is still one of the most popular pastimes there is, with 29 million players in the US alone , so it pays to indulge potential clients. A little sunshine and fun can lighten moods and make people more agreeable. Unlike many other activities, golf gives players time to chat and understand one another. And there’s always the clubhouse afterward for lunch or cocktails. Any client who loves golf will appreciate it, especially if it’s your treat. Just be sure the client is worth whatever your spending.

Fishing

Fishing is another popular activity people tend to bond over, and with some luck, it can be more exciting and more rewarding than golf. Imagine the client’s appreciation when they land a 400-pound marlin . You can charter a boat for a few hours or an entire day, depending on budget and your schedules. Approach the subject first to gauge the appeal of sea fishing; some like fishing, but not open waves.

Host a Dinner

A dinner party, banquet, or other corporate event is a good chance to do some entertaining with potential and existing clients. Invite them to attend. Good food, fun, and good company build a healthy rapport. This will give any client fond memories of your company. Instead of opting for a cheap celebration at your company, you might want to locate hospitality facilities with a good ambiance . Try to make the evening special with exotic menu items or exciting entertainment. Treat your clients like honored guests and they’ll appreciate you more.

Say Thanks

Whether it’s an old client, or a new one, thank them for their time. Even with rejection, simple courtesy and humility are never out of place. If nothing else, it will leave them with a better feeling for your company than dismissal or resentment. A sincere thank you, a handwritten card or note, or a brief phone call can express your good character both personally and for the company, while helping to cement your image in a positive light.

Offer Promotions

If you’re marketing new products or services, offer them to potential or preferred customers at a special discount, or even a free incentive. This will provide added value. Get to know your clients and understand what they need. If you can offer it to them at a special price, they’re much more likely to buy, particularly repeat customers who have already made the decision to purchase from you in the past.

Generate Referrals

Come up with incentives for clients who refer new buyers to you. This could be a lower rate, a complimentary service – or a fishing trip. This helps to both cement the relationship with existing accounts and create new leads. You can even teach them how to refer your company . As a past buyer, they can be your testimonial, and that may be more effective than any advertising you can do.

Creating a great experience in the customer journey for new clients is the best way to get them engaged. The best way to keep existing clients is to show them how much you appreciate their business, through rewards, incentives, and sincere, old-fashioned gratitude.