You probably already know that repeat and referral business is the single most effective source of business for any sales person…period. You also know that the best source of referrals is your past clients. There’s likely just one problem. They aren’t referring…much. It’s not your fault…when you got into the business you didn’t have a lot of clients and you were busy learning the business, generating leads and close deals. Time passed and you didn’t reach out to your past clients. You always intended to…but you never did…at least not consistently. Now it’s been too long and it just feels weird to reach out. Maybe you’re worried about what they will think if they suddenly hear from you? Maybe you think they’ll feel like your efforts are not sincere so as even more time passes you feel more awkward.
HOW TRUST IS BUILT
The quickest way to build trust is to make small promises and then keep them! Seems simple, right? You would think so but think about some of your own sales experiences. How did you feel when you were promised a call back by a particular day/time and it didn’t come? This is particularly baffling to me when I am trying to give somebody my money. I am a real buyer looking for reasons to do business with someone and all they have to do is keep their promises (manage my expectations) and I will buy!
BREAKING THE ICE
So it’s been a long time since you reached out to your past clients. So what? There’s nothing you can do about that now so what can you do? The best way to break the ice is with an apology and a promise. Apologize for not staying in better contact in the past and promise you’re going to do better in the future. Then…keep your promise! You would be surprised at just how quickly trust can be built, especially with an audience who trusted you in the past.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
After you break the ice you’re going to quickly build trust by keeping your promise to stay in better contact. Doing this will keep you top of mind often and make it easy for your past clients to refer you because:
They trust you and appreciate how you helped them in the past.
You are staying in touch consistently, showing them you care.
Each time you remind them of you, their reticular activating system is triggered keeping them in tune with opportunities to refer you.
Your contact information is easy to find.
You may be thinking…is it really that simple?!? Yes! You are creating an army of people who care about you who will refer you. That makes your job that much easier, wouldn’t you agree?
WORDS OF CAUTION
Don’t over-promise. We (customers) hate that! Consistency is more important than frequency. Start with what you can commit to doing consistently. If you can only commit to emailing once per month, do that. If you can only commit to mailing quarterly, do that! If you can only commit to calling once a year, do that. As you get systems in place to manage your past client marketing you can add other touches to stay top of mind later. We recommend a layered marketing approach to be sure you are staying in touch in multiple ways with the right people.
COMMIT TO CONSISTENCY
Remember that consistency is more important than frequency. After you reach out to apologize and make your promise, you must follow through to build the trust and earn the referrals. You don’t need to tell your clients what you’ll do, specifically. Just show them by being consistent and they’ll come to expect it which makes them feel more comfortable, which builds trust, which earns you referrals. There is a definite benefit to implementing layered marketing immediately rather than adding it bit by bit. If you want results fast, we can help. All the tools and content you will ever need is available right now inside Database Gold!
If you’ve ever wondered if you could be doing a better job of staying in flow with your past clients, or if you ever wanted to be more consistent in your communication or marketing efforts, you’ll find a ton of value in taking the Database Diagnostic. In just a few minutes, you could reveal blind spots and areas of opportunity in your database.
It’s never too late! ⏰Are you worried that your past clients haven't heard from you in a while? But you realize you have an opportunity to stay in touch to generate referrals.