If you are like most people, following up on past clients may be a weak point in the marketing process. In doing a Value Based Strategic Focus Plan with a client this past week we found a major void; with over 500 names in the past client list, there was no regular contact method and some had not been contacted or bought services for over 3 years.
The best source of business and referral business are your past clients. Unfortunately, service memories even if the service was good, are short lived. People meet other people, see other ads, and are influenced by a wide variety of other factors in their “buying” process. No matter what product or service you have, others are offering similar service and products and they are all looking to take your clients away. Absence also gives the impression that past clients are not important and when the need arises, they will look elsewhere.
One of the most effective ways to reconnect, in my opinion, is to write a “letter from the heart”. This is sent by snail mail (a sign that they are important) and delivers a special message. The following is an outline of topics that may be contained in the letter.
- An apology for lack of communications
- An event or change that has happened to you or your business
- How you will be different in the future
- The importance of maintaining this person as a client/customer
- Ask for support
- A solid closing which will require some action on your part; i.e. a promise of a follow up phone call, a delivery of a “gift”, ( or both) etc…
No, you don’t have to mail all 500 people a letter today. Take the list and divide it into groups; use the length of time with no communications to form the groups and then prioritize that list according to the value each past client represents. Start with the most valuable in each group, (at least 10 letters a week) and continue until you have had contact with all those who have not heard from you for more than 6 months.
Keeping up is always easier than catching up.
Make it a successful today!