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You’ve made the sale – but what about retaining them long term?

happyimgOne of the first things I tell prospective clients is that over time, I want to become their “go to” guy when it comes to building their business online. Whether we start with a website, or SEO/SMM campaign, I want to be the guy they call. That’s why the first 30-90 days is the most critical. The key is to always over-deliver. You can charge premium rates, for exceptional work, but a client must see the value it it or they will spend their advertising dollars somewhere else.

To keep a client long term, i.e. over 3-6 months you need to build a report with them and demonstrate the value you bring to the table.

Make sure you get every single client (and as many leads as you can) on your email list. Use that list, touch base 1 or 2 times per month, with helpful tips, resources or tools they can use in their business. It’s not hard to provide good content – it doesn’t even have to be YOUR content. Lots of times, I find great stuff I think my list would appreciate and I simply pass it on, and give credit to my source. The key, it to make sure they know that your emails aren’t BS and it’s worth the 30 seconds to read it.

Direct communication plays a big role too. Make sure you touch base at least a couple times per month (depending on the campaign obviously). Let them know that you’re actively working their campaign. Use reports as a tool to show progress, but don’t rely an the reports alone. Talk with your client, come up goals, and milestones and show them how they can scale their business from where it is now, and where it can be in 6 months, 12 months, etc.

Be realistic, don’t promise them the moon. If they’re resistant, take small steps that they can see value in right away. Once they trust you – you become their go-to guy. This could mean an exta $1000 per year, or $10,000+ per year, and ensures your client is HAPPY to pay your invoice each month.

Now, if you made it all the way to the bottom of this, here’s the value you’ve been waiting for. If your smart, you’ll make sure every client, and prospect knows that you pay handsomely for referrals. By doing this, you’ll create a small army of 1. current customers that happily refer you and 2. people that don’t know you, but are confident enough to refer you to their colleagues and earn a commission on the side for brokering the deal – either way, it’s a win win for you.

So when a new client calls or contacts you, make sure to get them on your list, and make sure they know about your referral program. Take action, and send me a thank you card later 🙂

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