We all lose clients – it’s a simple fact of doing business. They’ll stop emailing and calling, and you’ll need to bring in more new clients so your overall customer base doesn’t shrink. Rather than focusing all your money and effort on new marketing and onboarding, it makes sense to reach out to older clients, reminding them you’re around and getting them back on your books.
We’ll explore some of the best ways to do that below.
You have to take the first step
Don’t expect an old client to just “get back in touch” with you. They forgot about your business, other priorities got in the way or they got what they needed from your services. It’s unlikely they’ll suddenly “remember” your business – you have to take the first step and contact them.
Don’t try and sell your old clients anything
We all hate sales emails and calls. When was the last time you bought something as the result of a sales pitch? Your old clients feel the same way so don’t be tempted to just get in touch to sell them something. Instead, you need to create a genuine, useful connection.
Rebuild your connection with your client
This is the most important part of getting back in touch with an old client. This means no marketing or sales pitch – it’s just a simple reaching out. Here are some ideas:
- Mention something personal to your client – Is it their birthday? Has one of their children graduated? Do they have a new job? Look through your old correspondence, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you might be connected.
- Highlight something they’re working on – Take a look at their website to see their latest projects or read about their company news. When you contact them, ask about it. Give them a reason to re-engage with you.
- Look at what they’re sharing – If you’re on a mailing list from them or see what they post on LinkedIn or other social media, use what they’re sharing as a starting-off point.
You’ll need to research the clients you want to get back in touch with so you can craft your message properly. This is all part of reconnecting and reminding them that you’re around.
Create something of value to them
When you contact your old client, include something that will make their life or work easier. It needs to be relevant to them or their business, and should include interesting information, be inspiring, or somehow improve what they’re doing. If you’ve created something yourself, all the better. Otherwise, some helpful links, opinions or other research can all be helpful. Make sure you focus on their business or niche – don’t be tempted to send a generic email.
Keep your messages light
Approach your messaging with an attitude of being genuinely helpful. Don’t mention selling anything at all. What you’re trying to do here is start a conversation. As you do that, you can begin to suggest ways you can help later on.
Don’t be dissuaded
These techniques won’t work with every old client, and with some you’ll need to contact them several times. Continue to persevere, and you’ll start rebuilding your relationship.
Remember, avoid the sales pitch, mention something that’s relevant to your old client, be genuinely helpful and start a conversation. Following these simple steps will help you bring your old clients back.