Acquiring a new customer or client takes much more work and effort than maintaining the relationship with an existing one. The challenge is to remember that every customer or client you have is someone else’s prospect. There is always someone else whispering sweet nothings and making bold promises to your clients and customers.
You can fend off this foreign seduction by creating a relationship of mutual influence. A relationship where both parties invest in one another and, with time, find mutual enthusiasm and understanding.
It may seem counterintuitive, but to get your clients and customers to commit for the long term, you need to put them to work. Ask things of them. Ask them for feedback on a new product or service. Ask them for advice. Maybe even input on a personal dilemma you are facing.
Asking for suggestions, recommendations, referrals and introductions is the recipe for “thick” relationships that will withstand courting by others.
When clients and customers give, and not just receive, the actions they take on your behalf affirm that the relationship matters and is worth the effort to maintain. When you ask clients and customers to step toward the relationship, you have a better chance of keeping them.