I belong to a gym which continually aims to attract new clients. They seldom talk to me – I don’t believe they like me as I turn up every day and use the equipment and am on an old, cheaper contract. Every season I see the gym floor swell with new members (who will only stay for 6 months despite signing 12-36 month contracts – which is what the gym appears to what) and fight for limited pieces of equipment.
Why is the focus on all businesses to attract more clients and how often is this done at the expense of those you already hold?
Don’t look for new clients until you can say yes to these questions –
- Is our existing client sentiment strong?
- Have we maximised all the business from our existing clients?
- If not, do we know why we can’t or shouldn’t?
- Do we know our existing clients growth plans and how we need to support them in the future?
- Are we asking our clients for referrals and doing so appropriately?
- If we strive for new business, are we sure we can continue to meet the expectations of our existing clients?
Why? You run the risk of letting your existing clients down while you focus on attracting new clients. What is the point of investing the time, energy and cost to find a new client if you lose an existing one in the process. What have you gained? Worse, what if your client can’t be bothered leaving you, but despises your business model. What kind of relationship develops? What value is there in bringing new clients in on top of bad sentiment?
Your quest for new business should always begin with your existing clients.