The Greek Festival of Dallas, where 20,000 food and culture lovers gather every year, just concluded.
Every year I work with the Festival Team to make the purchasing decisions for marketing, food, and a plethora of other items that make the Festival run smoothly. This year we dealt with almost 100 vendors and all of them were thrilled to get our business. Many of them, however, didn’t take the time to understand our business or have followed up on this year’s results. Next week the Festival Team will be meeting to review everything we purchased to determine what was a good investment and what could be eliminated.
The fate of a vendor’s renewal for next year’s festival will primarily be determined at that time. Those who understood our business and had suggestions to get better results next year will not only be renewed but probably get more money from us.
This got me thinking about what we do to retain our clients. Are you with them every step of the way as an embedded partner for their success? Do you know when a client is determining your fate? How often do you track and discuss their results?
You’re a lot more likely to retain a client long-term if you deliver the specific value they’re seeking. Creating specific value doesn’t happen by accident. To guide you through the critical areas you need to address to make the solution buyable and valuable—ensuring future opportunities with the client.
Here are five things you can do today that can serve as your “Retention Checklist.”
Assignment - Do you have a clear next step based on a need or opportunity?
Bright Idea - Did the prospect select the preliminary idea they wanted you to develop into a proposal?
Buyable Solution - Did you discuss everything of importance to the prospect (timelines, pricing, evaluation criteria, etc.)?
Accountability - Are post-sale expectations of both buyer and seller clearly defined and understood? Have you and the client agreed upon a workable system to track return on investment? Does the plan include follow-up monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on client satisfaction?
Implementation - Conduct an evaluation meeting at the appropriate time or appropriate intervals.
Here’s a gut check question to ask yourself for every client: ”Am I delivering the specific value my clients seek or am I unsure of my fate when my clients are behind closed doors reviewing their investment with me?”
Start using the Retention Checklist today and the answer to this question
will be obvious to you and your client.