It costs five times as much to develop a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. It is much more profitable to build a client relationship than to try to win new projects constantly. Here are some tips to help foster good client relationships:
1. Target clients who are more likely to provide an ongoing flow of work rather than a single project.
2. Do everything in your power to please these clients and to meet or exceed their expectations.
3. Build personal relationships--stop by and say hello when you're in the ares. Take them to lunch once in a while.
4. Participate in client activities. Attend functions to which you are invited, like Christmas parties and open houses.
5. Be on the lookout for interesting news and information that might be helpful to customers.
6. Stay in touch by phone. Make it a point to call once in a while just to touch base.
7. Cultivate a number of relationships within a single organization.
8. Be friendly and courteous to everyone in your customers' organizations.
9. Be free with your praise of those on the client's staff who work with you.
10. Show your appreciation of the client's business. Send thank you notes when appropriate.