Key Retention Strategies To Keep You (and your clients) Sane
This is one of my most recent Focus Friday agency growth newsletters:
OK – so this is 100% Crazytown we are living in right now.
And nobody knows what’s going to happen, or when whatever it is that is going to happen will be.
That’s scary, right?
It’s OK. You can say it out loud. This is scary.
But it is important right now to understand what is scaring you. For most of us, it is the uncertainty of what is going to happen. For most of us, the health concerns will dwindle, but the economic disruption – the scale & duration – is the big bogey man.
There are words that are being thrown about at the moment that can be downright frightening – “stock market crash”, “economic slowdown”, “global recession” and even “the next great depression”. But here is the unvarnished truth…
Those things are all MACRO events over which you have no control. But the choices you make in your business and with your customers are all MICRO decisions that are 100% in your control. Here is the key thing to remember — the MACRO event influences but does not determine the outcome of your MICRO decisions.
Here are some micro decisions that you can make right now that will have a HUGE influence on how you make it through the current tumult:
- Check In With Your Clients Right Now: Ask them how things are going…ask them what is happening in their business…ask them about changes that they are thinking about…ask them about cashflow. Basically ask them anything that you can think of that will help you find a path forward for them, and give them the opportunity to tell you if they want to cancel, or pause or whatever.
- Make A Path Forward: Be honest with your clients about what you are seeing in the data. Is their CPA rising to unsustainable levels? Are e-mail clicks dropping through the floor? Diagnose the issue and make the best path forward for your client – even if it means that you are no longer part of the solution in the same way that you were a month ago.
- Have Compassion: For the last few days, all discretionary purchasing seems to have ground to a halt. That is a temporary thing, for sure. But even a week’s loss of revenues can be enough to through your clients into a tizzy. So be blunt and ask them if they are going to have any issues with your invoice. If they are, be compassionate, not angry. Negotiate with them – ask if they can bay 75%, or 50% and that you will make good at some point in the future. That will go a long way to maintaining the relationship.
- Cancel The Cancel: Some client is going to want to cancel – in fact, probably many. You should Cancel the Cancel. If they want to cancel, say that you understand, but that you are concerned about short term thinking impacting the long term, so you are simply going to keep their services going, even in a reduced way, for 30 days to see how things turn out. If there is a turnaround in 30 days, they can pay you when they can, or if things still look dire in 30 days, you can revisit the conversation.
- Have a Fallback Offer: If canceling the cancel doesn’t work, or cashflow is so whacked out that they don’t know how they are going to recover, offer them a fallback option. The fallback option is something like stepping back and consulting rather than executing, or perhaps it is a $497 course that shows them exactly what you do to manage their account. But finding a way to keep the client engaged AND help you with your cashflow is crucial.
How else can I help?
I have a big bunch of things happening at the moment – and I think they might be helpful to you in the coming weeks:
- Cold E-Mail Compendium: The Compendium, with its 75+ cold messaging frameworks, resource & tool lists and essential strategies, is just about ready to launch. Cold e-mail will be a key lead gen tactic in the challenging environment. And because cold e-mail is constantly changing, we will be adding to the Compendium every month for at least the next 12 months – additional frameworks, explainer videos, tool and platform reviews, LinkedIn messaging and more will be added on the 1st of every month starting in April. $77/yr or $117 for lifetime access.
- Live In Agency Breakout FB Group Everyday At 3PM Eastern Until The World Seems More Normal: I will be going live in my FB Group every day at 3PM to answer questions, give advice, offer a shoulder to cry on…whatever you need. It is free – just join the group here.
- Free 1 on 1 Coaching: For the rest of the month (and probably longer), I will be offering free 15 minute 1 on 1 coaching sessions (and I am pretty generous with the 15 minutes). There is no sales pitch attached – just trying to help out in any way that I can. Book some time here – 100% free – no strings attached.
Later this week, I am going to launch an Agency Biz Dev Bundle. I’ve put together a bunch of trainings, resources, and some great stuff (some ideas I am thinking about – maybe Tim & team will do a sales call teardown of one of your calls, write your next proposal, and help you reformulate your offer?) and I am going to put it out at a stupidly low price (seriously, stupidly low…). Stay tuned. (And if there is something that you absolutely need in there, let me know ASAP.)
Be well, be safe & be awesome.
PS: Stay safe. Wash your hands.
PPS: We are all gonna get through this.