When I first began promoting sales and marketing seminars back in the late 80’s, I remember one element of my programs featured “Client Retention.” The statement that caught the attention of most participants was when I boldly stated that “all customers were not the same, and you did not have to treat them all the same.”
I went on to recommend that an exercise in differentiation was always time well spent. Here is how that works.
Make a list of ALL your current customers/clients. Then carefully segment your list into three categories. The titles of these categories are left up to you.
A, B, C.
Red, blue, green.
Stars, players, others.
Here is the way I split up my clients:
My “A” list consists of those customers who I would do just about anything for at a drop of a hat. If they called me at 3 am in the morning, I would be glad they called. They have my attention at all times and, if need be, I might even cancel an important event — if it meant holding on to them. Obviously, there are not too many of these customers on my “A list”… maybe, 5%. The idea of losing one of these customers upsets my stomach just thinking about it. I will do anything within my power to prevent this from happening.
The customers I place on my “C list” also make up about 5% of my total client base. I will do what I can for this group, but I will not go out of my way or invest too much time or effort. If I lose one of these customers, my life would continue unaffected.
The bulk of my customers fall into my “B list.” These are the customers I work with week after week doing what is needed on a daily working basis. Losing one of these customers would sting a bit, but I would soon get over it by replacing them with a new B-lister.
Now here comes the message. Every Wednesday, without fail, I want you to ask yourself if there is anything you can do to enhance the relationship you have with those on you’re A-list. If the answer is “yes,” then do what needs doing immediately. Once you feel comfortable knowing you are up to date with you’re A-list, turn your attention to the customers on your B-list. Rinse and repeat every Wednesday.
Never spend time on your C-list unless they raise their hand. Treating everybody on your master list the same may sound like a righteous thing to do but, unfortunately, it will negatively affect your forward progress.
Protect you’re A-list at all costs.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.