Your Client Nurturing Plan

I would suspect many local businesses do not have a client or customer nurturing plan. If these businesses knew they could grow sales as much as 50% without spending more on marketing then I suspect they would see the value in nurturing their customers.

Last year three Harvard professors (The Value Profit Chain by Heskett, Sasser, and Schlesinger) released an interesting study:

  • 73% of our clients are Mercenaries; “regulars”…but will switch if something better comes along
  • 17% are Loyalists, engaging all of your offerings and broadcasting your praises
  • Apostles (3% of your portfolio) also referred to as unpaid sales reps, behave much like Loyalists, but also provide constructive criticism so you can better meet their future needs.

This means that nearly 3/4 of our customers are not loyal and given another option would happily buy from your competitors. One of the key conclusions was that by having a strong relationship on a personal level the customer will feel more attached and are less likely to go elsewhere.

Here are a few tips on how you can create a personal bond without spending too much time or money on each customer:

  • 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers, therefore know your top 20% and treat them like royalty.
  • Ensure you have the right marketing mix. It is estimated that repeat customers spend on average 33% more with you than new customers hence ensure the majority of your efforts and resources should be spent on existing clients (experts suggest between 60-70%).
  • It is not always feasible to personally contact each customer or new prospect so develop ‘touch points’ that keep you in their mind.
    • Send a monthly e-newsletter
    • Call leads quarterly
    • Send direct mail quarterly (should as a printed newsletter)
    • On an ad hoc basis email an article or invite to an event that might interest them
    • Start a blog or connect via social media sites and invite their participation
  • Make introductions that will benefit all parties involved
  • Most importantly add value

For those worried about the time this will take know that a little forward thinking and planning can have a system up and running in no time at all and it practically runs itself. If you’re not sure where to start seek assistance and know that you personally do not need to manage the process, much of your nurturing plan can be delegated.

Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants

The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.