Why marketing to existing clients is key for professional services firms
We all know it’s more profitable to retain existing clients than to focus on acquiring new ones. So, why do some companies choose not to market to their client base?
Other than the obvious and, let’s face it, pretty compelling reason for increasing profitability, there are other reasons why client marketing should form part of your marketing plan.
So, let’s explore them:
Avoid being pigeon-holed by your clients
There is nothing more frustrating than finding out a client has appointed a new supplier for a service you offer.
If you have more than one service, you need to remind your clients of this. No matter how long you have worked with your client, or how good the relationship is, clients will pigeon-hole you. They will assume you only offer the service you are contracted for.
You don’t need to remind them in a salesy way. You can do it in a very natural way.
Talk to your clients regularly so you can anticipate when they might need one of your other services. Tell them stories of how you’ve helped other clients through these services. Sharing case studies is a powerful way of reminding your clients of all the ways you can help them.
Marketing to existing clients increases profitability
OK, I know I’ve touched on this, but it’s such an important point that it’s worth going into some detail.
Aside from the obvious point that it’s expensive to acquire new customers, there are some other angles to this:
- existing clients buy more from you – they know you, they trust you and as long as they understand your full range of services, you can increase revenues through your client base. But, you need to tell your clients about what you do and how you can help them.
- existing clients are more likely to refer you – if your clients love what you do, they will recommend you. Referrals are gold dust for professional services firms. If you are being recommended by someone the potential client really trusts, quite often they won’t involve other suppliers. This kind of potential client is so valuable – they are almost pre-sold and you have every chance of converting them to a new client.
Don’t let a competitor eat your lunch
If you assume your clients are happy and carry on with business as usual, you are opening the door wide to your competitors. It’s easy to be complacent and think, ‘ I have a good relationship with my clients, I see them twice a year, it’s all good!’
But, your clients are being targeted by your competitors. Much more often than you realise. If you’re not focusing effort and resource on retaining them, you are making life easy for your competitors.
Your clients trust your advice and want to hear more from you
If you give your clients a great professional service that benefits their business, why wouldn’t clients want to hear more from you?
I work with a professional services client who enjoys a fantastic client retention rate. They do a great job of servicing their clients and have high satisfaction rates, but they don’t actively market to their clients.
I did some depth interviews with a segment of their client base, and a large proportion actually asked to receive content relevant to their businesses.
What does client marketing look like?
By client marketing, I’m not talking about sending generic marketing emails or sales promotions. I’m talking about building a deeper relationship with your clients through timely and targeted marketing.
Create content that will be useful to your clients. For example, if you have a sector specialism, you will know the common issues that impact your clients. Write an article on what action clients could take to improve their business when facing these issues.
If you don’t have a marketing team or don’t feel comfortable writing, hire a copywriter. In my experience, many professionals who are experts in their field, find it difficult to convey their knowledge in a way non-experts will understand. A copywriter will help you do this.
Remember, the best client marketing will add value to your clients.
Ask yourself, is this something my client will find useful? If it is, go for it. If it’s not, don’t risk damaging your hard-won reputation.
If you want any help with planning or writing content for your clients, please look at my copywriting services.