So it’s the start of a new year. You took time to look back and reflect. Maybe you have your plans for the year, your daily, weekly and monthly action plans, your goals and your vision board to spur you on to greater success. So here’s are the hard questions. Did you ask your clients? Do you know what your clients really think of your services & products? What changes they’d like? And have you evaluated them?
I know this is simple, common sense. But how many of us really do this type of account management behaviour regularly and routinely to protect our business? It’s devastating to lose a client when you could have retained them and annoying to lose out on selling additional goods and services just because they didn’t know you offered them. So call your best clients to set up Client Review Meetings in the next 4 weeks.
Here are the 5 steps to holding effective RECON Client Review Meetings:
- R = Remember
Revisit and relive the original reasons, issues, problems or objectives that led your client to buy your products and services.
- E = Evaluate
Evaluate your relationship. What’s worked? What hasn’t? What do you need to do differently? Grade yours and the client’s performances in the partnership.
- C = Changes
What’s changed? What’s changed in their business? And in yours? Any other changes that will improve performance?
- O= Opportunities
Where are the opportunities for the client? For your business? Any you can pursue together? Any other issues, problems or objectives the client currently has that you can address?
- N = Next Steps
What happens next? Make a clear, specific, certain up front contract so that you both know what will always happen next by when. Contract with your client for the next call or meeting, for the next piece of work, for the next phase of a project, for the next RECON review and for referrals & introductions within and outside their organisation.
Maybe ask your client to note down their thoughts in advance of the meeting. It won’t matter if your client doesn’t follow through on their prep as the RECON meeting be very productive and effective because you have a clear agenda and have set the expectations for the discussion.
By you being proactive, they’ll share bad news and maybe bring small issues to the table before they become critical. Because you are being proactive in your efforts to make changes and improve performance, even if they perceive the value of working with you has not lived up to expectations, they’ll continue buying from you. If you are not proactive with this kind of activity, your best clients are your competition’s best prospects. You will also reduce the risk of your clients buying goods and services from someone else because they didn’t know you offered them.
So call your best clients this week. Thank them for their business – and get that review date in the diary for your RECON meeting. That way you’ll start 2015 with a strong platform in place to grow your business with them this year.