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Develop Loyal Customers for a Lifetime ? part 1 (1 ? 10)

Traditional marketing strategies encourage business owners to continually grow their businesses by adding new customers. In today's competitive world of business, it is more important than ever to aim for more transactions with existing customers by using the power of customer follow-up and attention to good service.

These first ten tips will help you in turning your existing customers into walking billboards for your business and loyal customers for a lifetime. While we aren't advocating that you do all of them, choosing your favorite five and making sure they become a part of your marketing efforts will pay off handsomely.

1. Call your clients every Monday morning just to say "Good Morning," and to check in on how things are going. This extra ounce of attention will keep you forefront in the minds of your clients, and they will greatly appreciate your extended care and concern.

2. Keep a list of birthdays, special days of celebration, and upcoming special events in the life of your clients and their families. On these special days, send a card or small gift to let your clients know you are thinking of them. On the same note, keep a detailed list of hobbies, interests, favorite foods, preferred music, and the like. As you travel or are out and about, and you see a small token which you know your client would appreciate, buy the item, and ship it with a note that says "I thought of you when I saw this! Enjoy!" One of the most desirable "client perks" is tickets to a favorite sporting event or concert. Many companies purchase packages of sporting event tickets strictly for the purpose of entertaining champion clients and for building a long lasting relationship with the individual.

3. Be "Newsy" and a Trend Setter. One of the best ways to develop loyal clients is to become a trendsetter, continue your own education and training, and to become a forward thinker. By attending training events and reading cutting edge magazines such as Dwell, Futurist Magazine, FAST Company, Gourmet, Architectural Digest, and even Cosmopolitan Magazine, you will be able to follow trends which are current, allowing your clients to receive the newest and best information available on a variety of topics from business to fashion to design to travel to new foods on the market.

4. Attend conferences for your clients. For clients who are too busy to attend a conference, you can offer to attend a conference in their place. The best approach is to choose a conference that will benefit both you and your clients, and you pick up the tab (you will be able to deduct your cost as a business expense, so keep records and receipts for all expenses). While attending the event, collect a "goody bag" for each of your clients, that will include samples from the conference exhibit and any written materials, which you feel may be of benefit to your clients. When you return from the event, host a one-hour conference call or teleclass to update your clients on the latest/greatest in their industry.

5. Feature your clients or referral partners on your website or in your newsletter as your honored man or woman of the month/week. Contact your clients or people you often refer others to one month prior to publication, and invite them to be interviewed as your "guest expert" for the month/week. Record the interview, transcribe the interview, and post the recorded interview and transcription, along the client's photograph, biography, and contact information on your website or in your newsletter. The enhanced visibility will speak volumes to your clients about your support for their lives, and will show others that you are committed to the personal and professional improvement of others.

6. Invite your clients for a "sneak peek" to test a new product, service, or teleclass before the general public is invited to participate. Make this "sneak peek" unforgettable. If you are offering the preview in a live setting, provide wonderful food and drink. If this is an online event, teleclass, or virtual offering, make the sneak preview say "WOW" with fabulous graphics, distinct digital audios or videos, a dynamic power point presentation, and a copy of a 15-20 page document which will add value to the life of your clients.

7. One day each week, send your clients a special quote or a brief story of inspiration. A wonderful online free resource for quotes and stories of inspiration can be obtained through the www.cybernation.com. Cyber Nation is one of the largest online quote libraries celebrating the famous words of men and women from history, both past and present.

8. Adopt the philosophy of Fed-Ex. Do you know what Fed Ex says? "When it's a matter of hours, it's a matter for FedEx. We can pick up and deliver door-to-door 24/7/365 including weekends and holidays and give you immediate confirmation. Just pick a service and pick up the phone." Quick service, 24/7/365 is the number one reason that the majority of consumers in the United States choose Fed Ex over other parcel delivery companies. As a coach, you will develop loyal customers by being highly responsive and by delivering answers with lightning speed. When your customers expect a response, they usually expect it within 24 hours, so give them what they want, and you will develop a long list of "raving fans."

9. Be highly accessible. Provide your clients with multiple ways to contact you, including e-mail, fax, mobile phone, business phone, and home phone. If you travel, contact your clients in advance to let them know you will be away from the office for a few days and let them know how they can reach you in the event of an emergency. Simply letting your clients know that you are always available is very reassuring and will send the client the message that you care enough to be there for them at any time.

10. Open a private page on your website "For Clients Only." This special page on your website will be a private area which will include valuable resources not made available to the public at large. This page may include a free e-book, free audio course, free articles authored by you, or a growing list of resources you make available at no charge to those men and women who do business with you. The key to a successful private resource page is to continually update the page, adding new resources that are fresh and "cutting edge."

? Copyright 2004 by Alicia Smith and Bea Fields

Alicia Smith is a Coach and Trainer whose specialty is helping coaches to Make Money Now. This article is derived from just one of the 90 lessons contained in her e-course, 90-Day Marketing Marathon. To learn more about that course and her other products and services, please visit the following sites. (You also can email her at alicia@aliciasmith.com.) http://www.90DayMarketingMarathon.com http://www.discninja.com http://www.InternetAssessments.com

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