In this article, credit repair expert Mike Citron offers his advice on keeping clients and expanding your clientele. He provides a first-person, industry-expert perspective on some unique retention programs. DisputeSuite believes that successful credit repair tools and successful business tactics should be shared and distributed in the credit repair community. In addition to thriving on our own expertise, we acknowledge the benefits of other business experts. Continue reading for great insight regarding customer relations and customer expansion.
First, you should make your clients and referral partners feel special. If they feel like the same commoditized “unit” at your service as they would at the next, then there’s no reason to come to you for a service.
Think of different ways (not expensive ways) to make your client realize that you are thinking of them. Here are some examples that I’ve utilized in the past:
1. Send Holiday Cards
I always tell my consulting clients to send New Year’s cards instead of Christmas Cards. This is not because I’m overly politically correct (I said Christmas). The reason that I suggest New Years Cards is because of competition. There’s less competition on New Years.
If less people are sending New Year’s cards, then your New Year’s cards will stand out.
A legendary Marketer once said, “send a Thanksgiving Card. No one else will.” So, for the next several years I sent, Birthday, ½ Birthday, Anniversary, New Year’s, Valentine’s, and whatever cards I could find. I still send out about 4 – 500 cards a month, depending on the month.
2. Send Personalized Notes
Create and send personalized thank you notes. As business owners, we all understand the importance of delegating and outsourcing certain roles and tasks. These are tasks to delegate and automate. For instance, DisputeSuite offers the capacity to create quick email blasts that can be quickly distributed. If you have the manpower and the desire, you could also send handwritten notes. After you meet with a new referral partner, send them a handwritten thank you card. Ask yourself how many other companies that provide the service that you do, approach that referral partner on a daily or weekly basis? Then ask yourself how many of them send a handwritten thank you note after a call or a visit? I think you know where I’m going with this…
3. Present Yourself As a Trusted Advisor
Client retention and referrals should start at the initial call. When my focus was on training loan officers I always gave the example of me, when I was a loan officer, I would ask for a referral at the time of application. I would simply explain that my business was based on referrals, and I would ask if they knew if anyone could benefit from the valuable advice that I gave?
I always said “Valuable Advice” because I wanted to be an advisor, not a broker or salesman. People trust advisors and distrust salesmen.
Put yourself in that “Advisory” role when talking to your clients or potential clients. It is usually a good idea to start a conversation with probing questions. Don’t go straight for the sale. Make sure your clients know that you are interested in hearing them, so let them do the talking. When they talk, you should listen. A good salesman knows he has 2 ears and 1 mouth… which means he should be using his ears twice as much!
When you’re an advisor, you truly understand the situation, and the client must be confident that you will advise regardless of financial gain for yourself; and you must truly believe that. Don’t take every client unless you can actually help them. This business has enough unscrupulous individuals doing that. There is a lot more money to be made by providing a great service at a reasonable rate.
4. Demonstrate Your Value & Ask for Referrals
As I said, I asked for referrals starting with day one. Don’t just stop there. Keep asking for them. EVERYONE knows someone with bad credit. Offer valuable informative information, white papers, free reports, articles for local newspapers, etc. Set yourself up as an expert. Those items will assist in long-term relationship building.
5. Gift Certificates
Create good looking gift certificates. Make the gift certificates look valuable then give them to potential referral partners. Give away a $50 certificate for a “Credit Analysis” or “Credit Exam.” Rather than a FREE Consultation that has no value, (because it’s free), make the certificate look valuable and it will be perceived as valuable. Then your referral partner will see additional value in you and your services.
As always, if you’re looking to explore the benefits and successful tactics of credit repair business models, contact DisputeSuite today and speak with industry experts about all of your credit repair needs: Call 727-877-6812 or visit www.DisputeSuite.com.