A good friend of mine who works in the financial services industry recently made a big change in his life. He dissolved his long-standing business partnership and decided to go it alone after many years in the arrangement. They had built a sizable book of clients together (in addition to what he originally brought to the partnership when it was first created), so dividing up the assets was stressful to say the least. He also had concerns about what would happen once he had to handle everything on his own again after splitting the duties 50-50 with his partner.
When I caught up with him this past week about how things were going, I was ecstatic to hear that life on his own was actually more fruitful than expected! In fact, he reported that he had just completed his most profitable month in many years. How great is that?
When I asked him why he thought things were going so well, his answer was quite simple and powerful: “I’m talking to my clients every day now, like I was when I first got into the business, instead of only talking to them half the time like I was in the partnership!”
His comment underlines something we at YesTrak firmly believe in: When you talk to your clients, good things happen.
Small business owners across the country continually ask us for advice about how to make more money. They want to know which marketing strategies we like best in driving new phone calls. They are curious about what to spend on different advertising channels. They are looking for tips and information on how to increase prospect conversion percentages… The list goes on and on.
The answer we provide over and over again is to start by talking to your existing customers first. Find out what they like about you, and what they don’t like. What they don’t like is equally as important because it allows you to fix problems and repair relationships.
And once clients are happy, that’s when you can (and should) ask them for referrals. Why are referrals so critical? Because referrals will always be your best source of new revenue.
Pretty clear cut, right? That’s why we encourage business owners to maximize existing relationships first before looking to create new ones. It’s not that we don’t like marketing that attracts new customers– quite to the contrary, we LOVE marketing. However, spending money on costly advertisements before making sure the existing base is happy (and referring others) is a mistake most business owners cannot afford to make.
So next time you are looking at new strategies for growth, start by picking up the phone and calling your clients. You’ll be surprised at how profitable you can become just by saying ‘HELLO’!