If you aren’t new to the sales game, you’ve heard it said, “always be prospecting.”  It is a solid principle. Keep filling that pipeline! But too often I see current clients get neglected for the shiny, new (perhaps more expensive), client.

According to Forbes.com, a “5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.” Read that again. Let that sink in. So, how do we avoid neglecting client potential while, at the same time, increasing customer retention?

1) Don’t be an ostrich

If something goes wrong in a client relationship, as it inevitably will over time, know that the problem will grow if it’s not dealt with immediately, and the client’s measure of your integrity will shrink.  It is easy to procrastinate being the bearer of bad news, and, although I have found myself wishing the problem away, I have not yet mastered that mind trick. (If you have, please email me!) I refer to the use of avoidance techniques as being an ostrich. Sure, it’s warm and presumably safe with your head buried in the sand, but when you finally come up for air you may have missed out on a key opportunity to prove you are a fighter.

As the face that represents your company, it can be tough to “eat it” on behalf of an email marketer who sent an email blast using the wrong client logo.  You don’t need to actually be the person at fault to make a sincere apology. Act fast and have a solution (it helps if that solution is equal to or greater than damage done). Guess what? In some cases this will make you the clients’ noble hero. At the very least they will observe your tenacity and ability to get ahead of a problem.

2) Go beyond the professional.

Whether this means staying on the phone an extra five minutes with a gabby CMO because she craves empathetic listening, or turning a five page proposal into 5 bullets points for a CEO who has a disdain for details, value what your clients value. Go beyond professional and discover the personal language in which they operate. At the end of the day, most companies just want pleasant experiences. If you can delight them in small ways, they are more willing to step out and commit in big ways.

3) Always be prospecting.

Wait, what?  Didn’t we cover that? Always be prospecting for deeper levels of integration on behalf of your current client.  Stay updated on your client needs and present them with new ideas or platforms that will help them grow.  (And as a little tip; know that oftentimes client growth leads to growth in your bank account! Boom!) Being a thought leader and idea generator on behalf of a client provides value so much higher than a product or service alone.

In what ways do you ensure your clients are in it for the long haul?[/fusion_text]