Newbies and Beyond

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Raise your e-hand if you know this saying:  “Make new friends, keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.”  Anybody?  Anybody?  I realize using that cliché might make me seem eighty.  (No offense if you’re eighty.)  I’m not necessarily saying your high school buddies are better than your current neighbors, or vice versa, but I am saying that old friends and new friends are both different but both important.  The same goes for long-time clients and brand new clients.  They are both different but both important.  

You can’t have a successful business made only of first-time clients that never return, just like you can’t have a successful business made only of longtime clients that have been with your company for years. It doesn’t matter how loyal they are; if your business is solely getting return clients and never any new ones, you’re in trouble long-term.  The ticket is a combination of old and new, a healthy mix that will keep your business booming and sustainable.  So how do you attract new clients and keep the older ones happy?

Keep it moving

You know those moving sidewalks, like they have at the airport?  Well, imagine that, except without an end.  Yep, I’m asking you to imagine a never-ending moving sidewalk.  Your line of customers should be a bit like a steadily moving sidewalk with people getting on.  So picture this moving sidewalk and people standing along it at every stage.  An ideal situation involves clients at the beginning, clients at various stages throughout the middle section, and some who’ve been riding the moving sidewalk for eons.

The right motivators

Ask yourself these three questions and see if you can figure out ways to improve the mix of your new and long-term clients.  First, how can we get new clients?  Second, how can we keep them?  Third, what is it that makes our long-term customers, welp, long-term customers?  Maybe it’s personal, and they stick around because they like you or because they golf with your brother-in-law.  Maybe it’s plain old price, and you’re just more affordable than the competition. Perhaps it’s your stellar customer service that keeps them loyal.  Or it could be pure ignorance on their part, and they’d be happier with a competitor and just don’t know it yet.  Whatever the cause, examining what makes your loyal customers loyal can help you figure out how to turn new clients into returning clients.  How about this for a new saying:  “Make new clients, keep the old, having both leads to gold”?  What, not so catchy?  Well, you get the idea.