Retention and nurturing strategies are simple, fun, and low cost. Yet so many businesses fail at nurturing that it makes nurturing such an easy process and massive point of distinction for those businesses that do!

Here are some retention and nurturing strategies to implement immediately:

Link clients and prospects into a regular communication cycle. Regular communication is paramount to any retention and nurturing system. It’s impossible to build a relationship if you do not regularly and predictably communicate. Many businesses ‘dig up’ their databases to use as promotions. This is destructive. You are asking without first giving. Clients and prospects will resent you for this. But they’ll love you for giving them something for nothing; and then providing them with an opportunity to invest.

Thank clients for doing business with you. Most businesses behave as though the client is the lucky one to be using their service. You may behave like this without even knowing it. After every session, service, or product purchase you should THANK your client. Send them an email; sms; card; letter; small gift. Make them feel special and valued.

Give away stuff. We all love unexpected gifts. An excellent nurturing and retention strategy is to give away high perceived-value, low cost gifts.

An excellent way to create value for your clients, at little or no cost to you, is to develop joint ventures with other businesses. For instance, you could approach health spas and get them to provide a free treatment voucher. They are often willing to provide a free treatment as a loss-leader to acquire new clients. This strategy can be applied across a broad range of services.

Add-value to the relationship. Send clients specific information relating to their challenges. Send research, reports, tools, press releases. Anything that your client will find interesting.

Go further than expected. The key to creating true value is to go further than your client would reasonably expect you to go. If you do this, you tilt the reciprocal obligation in your favour, and your client will feel indebted to you.

And here are some additional pointers to keep in mind…

Focus your marketing on existing clients. Your current clients have already overcome certain hurdles to doing business with you. They are much more likely to buy from you again. Focus most of your time, efforts, and resources on better serving your current clients. Go deeper rather than wider.

Be consistent in your approach and interactions. Treat clients with honesty, humour, and respect. Present a consistent, solid, and professional style to your clients – one they can grow to depend on.

Follow through on your commitments. If you promise to send information or to follow up, be sure to do this. You’d be surprised at how many professionals promise to send information, but then never do. You will gain loyalty and trust by doing what you say you’ll do.

Allow yourself to connect. Find out about their lives, hopes, goals, and desired outcomes. Use social media to communicate. Ask questions that encourage a deeper sense of shared understanding. The greater the level of connection, the greater the mutual satisfaction.

Have fun. It’s easy to get caught up in goals, outcomes, and deliverables. Whilst clients do want outcomes, they also want to work with people who enjoy what they do. The more fun you can have while providing strong outcomes, the longer your clients will stay.

Position yourself as a resource for life. Tell clients at the beginning that you want to be their coach for life. That means they can always come back to work with you no matter how much time has passed between meetings.

Ask for feedback and input. At intervals throughout the working relationship, solicit feedback and input. Ask your clients how they feel about working with you and ask if they have suggestions for how the working relationship or outcomes can be improved. Asking for their ideas shows that you care about their opinions and value their contributions.

Share resources. Do you know of a good book that your client might benefit from reading? Tell him about it. Do you have the name of someone who could help your client move ahead on her business plan? Tell her about it. Sharing resources is a terrific way to build loyalty and satisfaction.

Reward them for staying on. You might consider implementing some kind of loyalty or perks program, where your long-term clients are rewarded for staying on. You might offer them gifts, products, or services for a certain level of ongoing participation with your business. Maybe Gold or Platinum Membership to your exclusive club.

Keep learning. The more you focus on gaining new knowledge, new skills, and new experiences, the more you have to offer your clients. The more you have to offer, the more they will benefit. The more they benefit, the longer they stay. Keep focused on your own professional growth and learning – make this a priority. Both you – and your clients – will gain.

Source: www.coachingclub.com.au