Every now and then I’m going to be taking a look at some quick and practical ways in which you can make progress towards retaining more of your customers. Today we are going to focus on the VIP method, where you find your most valuable customers and give them priority and preference, and generally treat them like they are the most important people on Earth.
The 80/20 rule
This is a simple rule, known as the 80/20 rule or The Pareto Principle. It means that, for most things in life, around 80% of the effects come from just 20% of the causes.
Another way of looking at that is ‘for every 100 clients you have, 20 of them will be responsible for most of your revenue’. And it’s true.
Try it out now. Look through your client list and see which clients come with the biggest fees/payments. I guarantee that most of your money comes from 20% of your clients.
That 20% of your clients should be treated like VIPs.
The 80/20 rule is important because it focuses your mind. That 20% of the client list deserves the most attention from you. They give you the bulk of your money.
Making the clients feel like VIPs
Your first job as a freelancer is to make sure that, with your VIP clients, you move Heaven and Earth to keep them happy. You do everything you possibly can to ensure that they get the work when they want it.You bend over backwards to meet every possible request on any brief they give you. In order for them to stay with you and keep giving you the fees they do, you make them feel like they are the only client on Earth.
For example, send them flowers on their birthday. Make sure they are the first to get a discount when you send out your next cycle of discounts. Send them personalised, handwritten notes that say thank you every now and then.
That part about giving them ‘first dibs’ when it’s discount time is a major point. Everyone has been pleased to get a VIP privilege discount flyer through the post, from that store in town you like to buy from. And those little pieces of card that you get at coffee shops where you can build up loyalty points for discounts? They’re popular for a reason.
The Pareto Principle
Of course, every client is important, but focusing on giving the very best treatment to those clients who are worth the most makes sense. You rely on them and their custom to carry the bulk of your business.
Look at your current client list and work out how much money they bring in on a monthly basis.Then look at each individual client and work out the percentage of that money that they are responsible for.
You will soon work out who the VIP clients are, and while they may not amount to an actual 20% of your client list, they will certainly be responsible for 80% of the income.
Stick the VIPs on their own list, and make sure those clients are the first ones you go to when you’re launching a new product/service or marketing campaign. Ensure they get discounts first (as exclusive clients).
They are your most important clients, and by treating this very special group of clients as VIPs, you will enjoy their custom for years to come.
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