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How to Retain Current Clients (And Reactivate Old Ones)

How to Retain Current Clients (And Reactivate Old Ones)

    If you’ve been in business for awhile, then you know there are times when you see steady growth and times when your business flatlines. There’s one way to revive your business growth quickly, and the big surprise is that it costs you nothing.

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    Small business owners are often quick to throw money at flatlining growth, thinking that more marketing and more advertising will make the difference. In fact, during down times, many consultants recommend increasing spending in these areas. You’ll often see consultants recommending expensive advertising and direct mail campaigns in the hopes of growing a business and increasing cashflow. But often, a business that’s flatlined can be fixed by looking in your own back yard.

    The truth is that the most cost-effective and fastest way to grow your business without spending a dime is to keep the customers you have and reactivate past customers. Sound easy? Well, it’s probably easier than you think, but a little harder than it sounds. Let’s start with keeping the customers you have.

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    Keeping The Customers You Have

    To keep your customers and clients, you’ll need to delight and thrill them with how great you are. To do that, start by listening. Listening is the most underrated and underutilized skill in your arsenal. If you listen carefully enough, your customers will tell you what they want from you. They’ll tell you exactly how to make them deliriously happy. It’s not rocket science. So listen. And when you hear what they want from you to be really delighted with you…ready for it? Go do that.

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    Another way to keep your customers and clients and to make them really happy is to do what you say you’ll do when you say you’re going to do it. Again, it sounds simple, but many people find follow-through to be quite difficult. It’s like any habit, though: the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

    Reactivating Inactive Customers

    In every business, there are clients and customers who stopped buying. Maybe they got everything they needed from you, but it’s more likely that there were other ways you could’ve served them. For some reason, they decided not to continue giving you their money. The cheapest (and fastest) way to grow your business is to figure out why and to remedy the problem.

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    Sometimes that will mean surveying old customers. You can send an e-mail, a letter through snail mail, or heck, just call them. Tell them you’d like the chance to earn back their business and ask them what it will take. Then, do that and invite them back.

    Sometimes you may have to jump through some hoops to get them back. Maybe you had an employee who was rude, or maybe you yourself failed your client or customer in some way. It’s up to you to find out what happened and remedy the problem. The truth is, whatever answer you get will help you in the long run, even in that particular customer doesn’t come back. You’ll have learned about a flaw in your business and have the chance to fix it before other clients are affected.

    The fact is, growing your business doesn’t have to start with expensive marketing or advertising. Start in your own back yard by improving your relationships with your existing clients and customers, delighting them with your follow through, and then reactivate old clients. Your business will improve and grow, and you won’t have spent a dime.

    Remember: It’s always cheaper to re-sign a former client rather than spend the time and effort courting a new client contract.

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    Susan Baroncini-Moe

    Susan Baroncini-Moe is an executive coach and business leader with over sixteen years’ experience.

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    Last Updated on September 23, 2020

    Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

    Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

    Are you waking up each day looking for that perfect thing, activity, or job that will make your life work? Or, maybe you are looking for that perfect relationship. Once you “get” this new thing that will allow you to do what you love, you are sure that you will be happy forever.

    In reality, life doesn’t work like that, and we would probably get bored if it did. There is likely no one thing, experience, or activity that will keep you feeling passionate and engaged all the time. What’s important is staying connected to what you love and continuing to grow in the process.

    Here, we’ll talk about how to get started doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings. Doing this doesn’t have to take a long time; it just takes determination and energy.

    Most People Already Know Their Passion

    So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely lack of passion.

    Most of us already know what we love to do. We know what excites us, even if we haven’t done it for years. Instead, we focus on what we think we “must” do.

    For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about[1].

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    No Activity Is Exciting All the Time

    Even people who are living their dream lifestyle or working their dream job don’t love it all the time. Every job or lifestyle has parts of it that we won’t like.

    Let’s say your dream is to become an actress, and you succeed. You may not enjoy the process of auditioning and facing rejection. You may experience moments of boredom when you practice your lines over and over again. But the overall experience is totally worth it.

    Most of life is like that. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by demanding that life be perfect all the time. If things were perfect and easy, you would ultimately stop learning and growing, and life would begin to lack even more meaning in that case.

    Be grateful for both the good and bad moments as they are both entirely necessary if you genuinely want to do what you love and love what you do.

    Doing What You Love May Not Be Easy

    Living a life you love is unlikely to be easy. If it was, you would not grow very much as a person. And, if you think about a great book or movie, the growth of the main character is what matters most.

    What if the challenges you meet along your path to living a life you love were designed to make you grow as a person? You may actually start looking forward to challenges instead of dreading them. An easy life hardly ever makes a compelling story.

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    If you struggle to overcome challenges, try writing them down each time you encounter one. Then, write down three ways you could tackle it. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, try another. This way, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

    How to Do What You Love

    There are many small steps you can take to ensure you are making time to do the things you love. Start with these, and you’ll likely find that you’re already on the right track.

    1. Choose Your Priorities Wisely

    Many people claim they want to do something, yet they don’t do it. The truth is they might not really want to do it in the first place[2].

    We all end up following through on what matters most to us. We make decisions moment by moment about what we need to focus on. What we choose to do is what we deem most important in our lives.

    If there is something you claim you want to do but you don’t do it, try asking yourself how much you really want it or where it’s currently placed on priority list. Are there other things you want more?

    Be honest with yourself: what you currently do each day is a reflection of your priorities. Recognize that you can change your priorities at any time.

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    Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

    If this is happening, it’s time to make a change.

    2. Do One Small Thing Each Day

    As stated above, doing what you love doesn’t have to mean finding that perfect job that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. If you want to do what you love, start with one small thing each day.

    Maybe you love reading a good book. Take ten minutes before bed to read.

    Maybe you love swimming. Get a membership at the local YMCA, and go there for thirty minutes after work each day.

    Dedicating even a short amount of time to something that brings you joy each day will improve your life overall. You may find that, over time, a career path related to what you love to do pops up. After doing the thing you love each day, you’ll be more than prepared to take it on when the opportunity arises.

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    If you need help making time for your passions, check out this article to get started.

    3. Prepare to Make Sacrifices

    If you are an exceptionally busy person (aren’t we all?), you may have to make sacrifices in order to make space for the things you are passionate about. Maybe you take on less extra hours at the office or take thirty minutes away from another hobby in order to develop another that you enjoy.

    Looking at your priority list will help you decide what can get put on the back burner and what can’t. Remember, do this thinking about what will help you feel good about how you’re spending your time. 

    For example, if you love writing but rarely make time for it, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Or instead of browsing your phone for 30 minutes before bed, you can write instead. There is always a way to find time for what you love.

    Final Thoughts

    If you love what you do, each day becomes a joyful adventure. If you don’t love what you are doing, life feels like a chore. The best way to achieve success is to design a life you love and live it every day.

    Remember, doing something you love doesn’t have to include big gestures or time-consuming projects. Start small and grow from there.

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    Featured photo credit: William Recinos via unsplash.com

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