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Clients for Life

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Here's a test for you:

Do you feel you provide outstanding service to your clients?

Is it your objective to have them buy not just once from you, but many times over the course of their lifetime?

Many sales people in financial services will have answered yes to these questions. They want a long and profitable relationship with their clients and feel that they provide the service levels that will achieve that objective.

Consider these statistics:

    It costs approximately six times as much money to gain a new client as it does to keep an old one.
    68% of the clients that stop dealing with an organization do so because of perceived employee indifference.
    The average business never hears from 96% of it's unhappy clients.
    The average client who has a problem with an organization will tell 9 or 10 people about it.

- Source – Harvard Business Review

What does all that mean? I interpret that information to read that most people quit dealing with you because they think you don't care about them or their business. That we live with a false sense of security about the level of satisfaction of our clients because most of the unhappy clients don't tell us they are unhappy. That we're losing new potential business because the unhappy clients are telling their friends and family. And ultimately, that it is far more expensive to replace that client then it would be to just try and keep them happy in the first place!

If we really want to build a loyal client following where we are consistently getting repeat business and maximizing the products per client we need to be talking to them even when they do not come and see us. We need to have a long term follow up strategy in place to ensure we are in touch with our clients on a regular basis.

If it's so easy to do, why is it that more companies don't spend more time and money on follow up?

Thoughts On Why Companies Do Not Follow Up:

- No time. This is hard to understand. No time because we are busy doing what? Selling … looking for new prospects? Isn't it cheaper to take care of the ones we have?
- They do not believe that follow up works – unfortunately this myth is usually perpetuated by someone that has never made follow up calls.
- They do not know what to say. If there is no plan, skill training and objectives for the calls they typically do not happen.
- Poor technology. There is no way to track who has been called and when so rather than risk calling too much we don't call at all.
- The order taking culture prevails. Despite the progressive sales rhetoric, some companies are still relying on the client to approach them with their business. The lack of follow up is a symptom of a bigger problem.

Thoughts On Why Companies Should Follow Up

- It works. It's has been proven consistently that you will get more business from the client you are talking to compared with the strategy that waits for them to come to you.
- It's expected. New clients especially find it unusual that no one contacts them. They left their current financial institution they were unhappy with because of indifference and poor service. They are hoping that you are different – don't disappoint them.
- It's easier than going out and getting a new client. What would you rather do: cold call for a new client or call someone who is already dealing with you and find out if they are happy?
- It's a great way to get referrals. Either on the call itself (a great time to ask) or just the fact you are calling (client tells friends "you're not going to believe the personal service I get")
-  It's the "feel good" part of selling. You're not after anything; you're just calling to make sure they are happy. It's your chance to prove to the client that you really believe in personal service.
- Did I mention that it works?

So, where are the gaps in your organization?

    What about the new client that only has a mortgage with you and it's a 3 year term – when will they hear from you again?
    What about the client that does all their banking online – when do we get to speak to them?
    What about the client that only does their investments with you? Is the only time they hear from you when you want something at renewal time?
    Where are the gaps in your business?

Last question:
It's cheaper, more effective at increasing profits and our clients love us when we do it – what is it?

We all know it's follow up. Here's the real last question: are you doing it consistently and if not, what will you do about it?

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."
– Frank Tibolt

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Copyright © 2008 by Fusion Performance Group Inc.
Copyright © 2012 by Fusion Performance Group Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.