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How to Retain Current Clients (And Reactivate Old Ones)

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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.

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    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 November 15, 2021

    20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

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    20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

    “Please describe yourself in a few words”.

    It’s the job interview of your life and you need to come up with something fast. Mental pictures of words are mixing in your head and your tongue tastes like alphabet soup. You mutter words like “deterministic” or “innovativity” and you realize you’re drenched in sweat. You wish you had thought about this. You wish you had read this post before.

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      Image Credit: Career Employer

      Here are 20 sentences that you could use when you are asked to describe yourself. Choose the ones that describe you the best.

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      “I am someone who…”:

      1. “can adapt to any situation. I thrive in a fluctuating environment and I transform unexpected obstacles into stepping stones for achievements.”
      2. “consistently innovates to create value. I find opportunities where other people see none: I turn ideas into projects, and projects into serial success.”
      3. “has a very creative mind. I always have a unique perspective when approaching an issue due to my broad range of interests and hobbies. Creativity is the source of differentiation and therefore, at the root of competitive advantage.”
      4. “always has an eye on my target. I endeavour to deliver high-quality work on time, every time. Hiring me is the only real guarantee for results.”
      5. “knows this job inside and out. With many years of relevant experience, there is no question whether I will be efficient on the job. I can bring the best practices to the company.”
      6. “has a high level of motivation to work here. I have studied the entire company history and observed its business strategies. Since I am also a long-time customer, I took the opportunity to write this report with some suggestions for how to improve your services.”
      7. “has a pragmatic approach to things. I don’t waste time talking about theory or the latest buzz words of the bullshit bingo. Only one question matters to me: ‘Does it work or not?'”
      8. “takes work ethics very seriously. I do what I am paid for, and I do it well.”
      9. “can make decisions rapidly if needed. Everybody can make good decisions with sufficient time and information. The reality of our domain is different. Even with time pressure and high stakes, we need to move forward by taking charge and being decisive. I can do that.”
      10. “is considered to be ‘fun.’ I believe that we are way more productive when we are working with people with which we enjoy spending time. When the situation gets tough with a customer, a touch of humour can save the day.”
      11. “works as a real team-player. I bring the best out of the people I work with and I always do what I think is best for the company.”
      12. “is completely autonomous. I won’t need to be micromanaged. I won’t need to be trained. I understand high-level targets and I know how to achieve them.”
      13. “leads people. I can unite people around a vision and motivate a team to excellence. I expect no more from the others than what I expect from myself.”
      14. “understands the complexity of advanced project management. It’s not just pushing triangles on a GANTT chart; it’s about getting everyone to sit down together and to agree on the way forward. And that’s a lot more complicated than it sounds.”
      15. “is the absolute expert in the field. Ask anybody in the industry. My name is on their lips because I wrote THE book on the subject.”
      16. “communicates extensively. Good, bad or ugly, I believe that open communication is the most important factor to reach an efficient organization.”
      17. “works enthusiastically. I have enough motivation for myself and my department. I love what I do, and it’s contagious.”
      18. “has an eye for details because details matter the most. How many companies have failed because of just one tiny detail? Hire me and you’ll be sure I’ll find that detail.”
      19. “can see the big picture. Beginners waste time solving minor issues. I understand the purpose of our company, tackle the real subjects and the top management will eventually notice it.”
      20. “is not like anyone you know. I am the candidate you would not expect. You can hire a corporate clone, or you can hire someone who will bring something different to the company. That’s me. “

      Featured photo credit: Tim Gouw via unsplash.com

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