Landing a new client is great! It brings so much excitement to your work, not just in the design aspect, but also because you get to build a client relationship. It's confidence boosting too. But have you stopped to think about repeat business from your existing clients?
Think about all that effort you make, marketing yourself, networking, putting yourself out there to get noticed. If you think about it, all that hard work has already paid off with your existing clients.
In this article I want to share 5 ways to reap the benefits of your existing client base and turn that business relationship into a valuable source of income.
1 | Communication
Working with someone for the first time means setting a good first impression. First impressions count after all. Understanding your clients requirements, listening to feedback, making any necessary amends, and getting it right shows that you are able to conduct your business well and as a professional. Everyone likes a professional. No-one likes a cowboy.
Communicating on time, using the right tone and formal language in every email, or Skype call shows professionalism and speaks for itself. This in itself will make your clients happy as they know they can "talk to you". Happy client = repeat business.
2 | Look after them.. and keep their details!
Ok, so the project is done. You have sent everything over for final delivery and they have reviewed it. Now what?... shake hands and go your separate ways?.. maybe, if you want to loose them and let them go on their merry way to find a new designer when they need one next.
But that's not the plan. You want to keep them and let them know that you are there. Post-project contact is a great way to look after them. Ask them if everything went well and sending them a quick email can do wonders! It's also just as important to remember to save their details so make sure you have their email address, number, postal address etc.
3 | Say "Hello"... and ask for feedback
A quick way to make sure your client doesn't forget about you post-project and also maybe tempt them again into working with you is to maintain contact. If things in your business change, for whatever reason, there is nothing wrong with getting in touch with them and asking them for feedback on the project when you both originally worked together. If something reminds you of them, on Twitter then why not simply ask them how they are doing. Say hello and keep in touch.
4 | Special rates
Nothing tempts a client from coming back for more like a special offer! Offering, say, a 10% discount for rebooking your services will make them think twice about finding a new designer to work with. Just like you would need to put in X amount of effort sourcing a new client, they would also need to reestablish a relationship and work out if a designer is suitable for their project. Keep them interested and show them you care, tempt them back with a special offer rate!
5 | Sometimes it's the small things that count!
I'm a true believer of this! What's better than a small thank you card in the post or a little treat that shows them you care about their custom and would love to work together again. That small thought is something that can remind them that you are there to take away all their design worries when they need you!
The best thing about repeat business is that you already know the client, you have already worked with them in the past, so you know their strengths and weakness, and you know how they work. That initial connection and understanding is already present so you won't have to do anything "extra" in terms of convincing them why you should work toughener. Instead, you have to concentrate on securing the deal, maintaining the first experience last and improve on it.
Have you had repeat business? what are your thoughts on it?.... Why not share any tips you have!