When you lose a client it’s almost always because of service. Price is rarely the problem. Before you try to win back that lost client you need to examine the problem and figure out why you lost the client in the first place. What does your client think was the problem? What do you think the problem was? If you work together again, is the problem going to resurface?
Here are six steps to help you get back a lost client:
1. Give it some time. Don’t go rushing after the client. Let them think about the problem if there was one. This will also give you time to think over your approach. Client problems are sometimes like lover problems. Time will often heal the wound without you having to do anything else.
2. Provide a referral or offer your assistance. In the world of business we run into people who need this or need that. Keep your clients in mind AND keep your lost clients in mind for anything that could benefit them. By knowing the needs of our clients, it’s sometimes easy to make suggestions that could help them either with a referral for business, or your assistance with any problem, which could help them.
3. Do not sever communication relationships. Keep them on your mailing list. Stay on their mailing list. If you send out a newsletter, keep sending to them them. If you use email to stay in contact with your clients, keep the lost clients posted. It also wouldn’t hurt to mention any good news concerning the client in the newsletter or email.
4. Make it easy for the client to return. If they call, sound happy to talk to them. If you meet them face to face, shake their hand and give them a big smile. This will remind them why they worked with you in the first place.
5. Have the client solve a problem for you. If you’re working on a community project and you think the client might be able to help you out, give them a call. If you respect their taste in food, ask them for a restaurant suggestion for an anniversary dinner. Ask about software. Ask about people. Ask about virtually anything, just don’t sound phony.
6. When the client comes back thank them profusely. Everyone likes to be thanked. We enjoy believing that we make a difference and that we are appreciated. Show that appreciation to your lost client.
It takes an effort to leave. If your clients feel wanted in the first place it is almost impossible to have someone else steal them away from you. Once lost you just need to gently keep after them by reminding them of your services, your appreciation of them, and your knowledge of their needs. Once you have them back, keep them and treasure them.
Don Doman is a published author, video producer, and corporate trainer. He owns the business training site Ideas and Training (http://www.ideasandtraining.com ), which he says is the home of the no-hassle “free preview" for business training videos. He also owns Human Resources Radio (http://www.humanresourcesradio.com ), which broadcasts HR and business training information, program previews, and training samples from some of the world's great training speakers twenty-four hours a day. You can listen and learn on Human Resources Radio.