Welcoming New Clients
Growing trust by deepening relationships
When you begin in business your focus is on bringing in new business by making sales. You want to bring in as many new clients as possible. Your mindset is to grow as fast as you can.
Something that often gets overlooked is the importance of keeping people who are already clients of your business.
If you bring in two new client accounts to your business but lose two client accounts, you’ve gone nowhere. You’ve not grown. All that work and you end the day where you began.
Client retention is just as important as getting new clients.
It’s a balancing act. The sooner you realize that both carry an equal amount of weight, the faster your business will grow.
Unfortunately it took me longer than I want to admit to completely realize this.
Our data told us that we were weak in our newer client retention. Our new clients with a tenure under three years tenure was unacceptable. In fact, it down right stunk!
That was when my team and I put together a New Client Welcome Program. We wanted to improve our newer client retention and work on ways to get clients to the five year mark with our firm. Our data showed that if customers could make it to five years, the retention rate spiked and hardly anyone left us.
It took some time but years later our client household retention is now at almost 97% for families under three years of tenure with our firm. Families with five years tenure and above stand at an almost 99% retention rate. (For an insurance firm, which is within a very competitive industry that traditionally sees a lot of turnover with clients moving among companies, I’m very proud of the numbers my team has accomplished.)
So what did we change?
Our focus was on the new families we brought on as clients. We changed it by implementing our New Client Welcome Program. This program was in addition to the newsletter that we developed which goes out to all our clients quarterly. I wrote about this recently in Keeping In Touch.
Once a new family joins our firm as a client, the following month we start to implement our program. Here is what our three-part New Client Welcome Program entails.
Welcome folder. Why send a welcome folder when you can just send an email? Everything is paperless and online now. Communication is done by companies through email and apps now. This is precisely why we send one. It’s unexpected and different. They’re going to look and read through what’s in the folder. Think about what you do when you receive something that’s unexpected through the mail?
We’ve found that it both serves a purpose and makes an impact. As we’ve met with clients over the years, it’s not uncommon for most of them to bring that folder to their meetings with us. They still use and reference it.
What goes into the folder depends on your business. What do you want to tell them? What do they need to know? What should they expect as a client of your company? We created a guide for them. This is a colored pamphlet which presents our team’s pictures and explains our firm. Who does what and what’s to be expected. What they should do when they need a certain thing done. It gives the ways to contact us and our various departments.
We also include a referral card notifying them about our referral program. To create upsell opportunities you could include information on products or services that they don’t have with you. There may be giveaway items that would be helpful or meaningful to them. You could include some form of a thank you card. Include things that you’d find beneficial. Create your folder and then constantly be updating and improving upon it.
Welcome gift. Once a family is a client with our firm for two years we send them a welcome gift. Our welcome gifts that have had the best success is a custom engraved cutting board and a gas card. Along with this gift we include a letter thanking them for their continued business and trust. It also asks if they have any questions or need anything from us.
The idea behind this is to give them something of use. Something they would keep and even use. To reinstill that we value them and their business with our firm.
Face-to-face meeting. After being with our firm for three years we make a point to reach out to clients by email and phone to schedule an appointment. We’ll continue contacting them until we hear back to setup a time. Our goal is in person face-to-face. We may meet at one of our offices, their home or we’ll take them to coffee, meet for lunch or take lunch to them. There are many unique and different ways to meet with your clients.
The idea behind this appointment isn’t too upsell them anything. It’s to just talk with them. To see if they need anything. Is there anything that we could improve on or do better for them. We want to thank them for their business and reinstill their importance to our firm. This appointment is just about having a nice casual conversation. It usually entails very little talk about their actual business with us.
In any business no matter what product or service you’re selling, it’s all based upon relationships and trust. Just because someone becomes a client doesn’t mean your work is done. The most important part is just beginning.
The competition for business is fierce. It always has and always will be. How do you separate and do things different than your competitors? What type of a relationship do you have with your clients? Are you working to deepen those relationships? Continue growing trust by deepening your relationships.
The Coffee Table ☕
I always enjoy reading what Ryan Holiday writes on his blog. His recent post The Secret To Better Habits in 2023 had some good tips as we head into the new year. I picked up some ideas from this.
The fifth season of Yellowstone just concluded. My wife and I really enjoy watching this show. It’s was very well done. The sights and cinematography that they show are just awesome. It makes you want to get on a horse and be in the Big Sky Country of Montana and Wyoming just to experience it.
I had previously mentioned that we were watching White Lotus Season 2. That also concluded a few weeks ago and it was outstanding. What a surprise ending. We both liked the second season better than the first.
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