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Client Retention

Ok, as I promised… I would elaborate on some unique retention programs… BUT you must first understand the basics…

Make your clients and referral partners feel special! If they feel like the same commoditized “unit” at your service as they would at the next, then there’s no reason to come to you…

Think of different ways (not expensive ways) to make your client realize that you are thinking of them…

For example… I always tell my consulting clients to send New Years cards instead of Christmas Cards… and it’s not because I’m politically correct… I said Christmas… because for the past 50+++ years everyone called the “Holiday season” the “Christmas Season”, regardless of what holiday you celebrate… and that’s ok…. I’ve spoken to hundreds, if not thousands of people who celebrate alternate holidays- I celebrate many holidays!!!… and still call it the “Christmas Season”… Ok… Enough of my P.C. rant… The bottom line is- I don’t say send new years cards for the wrong reasons..

The reason that I suggest New Years Cards is because of competition… There’s less competition on New Years… No one else is sending cards (Or at least not too many…)
If less people are sending New Years cards, then your news years cards WILL STAND OUT!!!!!…

A Legendary Marketer once said… Send a Thanksgiving Card… No one else will… So for the next several years I sent, Birthday, ½ Birthday, Anniversary, New Years, Valentines, and whatever cards I could find… I still send out about 4 – 500 cards a month, depending on the month…

Handwritten thank you notes… In a previous message I discussed the importance of delegating … These are tasks to delegate and automate… I certainly don’t lick or handwrite the envelopes….. I found an automated system to do it for me… My automated system actually seems as if I personally wrote it…You can easily use an automated system to do it… I just suggest that GET IT DONE… BUT YOU DON’T DO IT!!!

After you meet with a  new referral partner, send them a handwritten thank you card… Ask yourself how many other companies that provide the service that you do, approach that referral partner on a daily or weekly basis? Then ask yourself how many of them send a handwritten thank you note after a call or a visit? I think you know where I’m going with this…

Client retention and referrals should start at the initial call… When my focus was on training loan officers I always gave the example of me, when I was a loan officer (Many Moons ago) I would ask for a referral at the time of application…. Yeah – before I even qualified that person for a loan…
It was always easy for me… I would simply explain that my business was based on referrals and ask who do they know that could benefit from the valuable advice that I gave?

I always said “Valuable Advice” because I wanted to be an advisor, not a broker or salesman… People trust advisors and distrust salesman…

Put yourself in that “Advisory” role when talking to your clients or potential clients… It is usually a good idea to start a conversation with probing questions… don’t go straight for the sale…. Make sure your clients know that you are interested in hearing them … so LET THEM TALK… When they TALK you should LISTEN!!! They will tell you a lot more than you’ll ever need to know but… let them go… A good salesman knows he has 2 ears and 1 mouth… which means he should be using his ears twice as much!!

When you’re an advisor, you truly understand the situation, and the client must be confident that you will advise regardless of financial gain for yourself… THAT is NOT A PITCH!!! You must truly believe that … Don’t take every client unless you can help them! This business has enough unscrupulous individuals doing that… There is a lot more money to be made by providing a great service at a reasonable rate…

There are alternative ways to make money from clients that you can’t help…. If you know them, great, make the best of them… If you don’t, let me know and I’d be happy to make some suggestions…..

I went off track a bit…… I was up to the part about asking for referrals day one…
Don’t just stop there… KeeEEEEp asking for them, every conversation… EVERYONE knows someone with BAD CREDIT!!! Offer valuable informative info, white papers, free reports, articles for local newspapers etc…

Those items will assist in long term relationship building…

Create good looking Gift Certificates (Ones that look valuable, not the nonsense that you’d print on your regular penny copy paper)…. Make the gift certificates look valuable then give them to potential referral partners… Give away a $50 cert for a “Credit Analysis” or “Credit Exam”…. Rather than a FREE Consultation that has no value, (because it’s free)…. Make the certificate look valuable and it will be perceived as valuable… Then your referral partner will see additional value in you and your services….

If you only remember one thing from this e-mail… Here’s what it should be:

PERCEPTION IS REALITY!!!!

Your friend in the credit biz

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  1. Terry McCart says:

    Mike, I know this may sound strange, but I include my clients in the intire process. I actually bundle their dispute letters together (pre-addressed and stamped) and send them to them for their personal signature with instructions. This keeps them in the loop and they see what they are paying for. This makes them more comfortable referring others.

  2. gqcredit says:

    I have heard mixed reviews on sending the clients the letters and getting the letters signed… This sounds like a good idea but then also adds an unnecessary step for something to go wrong (ie client never gets letters, forgets to send them out, etc..)

    I do like the “miscellaneous” cards and asking for referrals each time you speak to the client. Also I offer a free month of service to anyone that refers me someone that enrolls into our program.

    I was intrigued by Donna’s Negotiation letters you mention on the webinar. Please send them if possible.

    Thanks!

  3. Ken says:

    Mike you are so right on – perception is reality! Your advice is invaluable and I thank you for it.

    Also, thanks for the great webinar today… Ron and Angela were tremendous and their insight will go a long way in helping others. Thanks for including them and spending the extra time it required today.

    See you next week.

    Ken

  4. Troy Hitt says:

    It is worth keeping the clients in the loop for the good and bad results. The portal from DisputeSuite works awesome in giving them a snapshot of their status.

    Thanks for the great call TODAY! Ready to hit the airwaves!

    Thanks
    Troy Hitt
    Houston “By God” Texas

  5. Lynard Burt says:

    I really enjoyed the suggestion of sending cards for thanksgiving, New Years, and even other important days mention. I really see how this would stick to the wall tatic would work.

    In this artical it mention a a “Credit Exam” is there an example of a “Credit Exam”?

    I enjoyed todays webinar. I would like a copy of page 5, Bio templet and the webpage of Angelica’s radio recorded shows

  6. Steve Leifer says:

    Mike,
    Everyone wants to “feel special” and “valued” and the thoughts and ideas that you shared with us help facilitate our efforts to make our clients and referral partners feel special and valued.
    The Golden Rule rings true again “Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you”.

    Thanks again for your terrific energy and advice.

  7. MikeN says:

    Mike,
    Great Webinar. Only caught about 40 minutes but some strong ideas and would love to hear more lead generation tips.

  8. Mike, I also subscribe to a value-based approach to my clients. It is critical to make the them feel that they are important and that you are truly interested in their well-being and in obtaining for them a positive final outcome. It is also nice to receive pieces of gratitude from someone I have done business with as long as it doesn’t sound phoney.

  9. curtis weaver says:

    This a great idea I have always sent thanksgiving cards and people always remark that they never get a card for that holiday but always a Christmas card. I’m glad you mentioned this I’ve been saying this for years.

  10. EricPegler says:

    I use the certificate gold leaf paper and
    print a $50.00 gift Certificate for my referral partners to give to their customers. You can print on your printer and it looks great. I get it at a printers paper suppy store for $10 / 100 sheets.
    Eric

  11. “Perception is reality” this article hits home. I began sending out cards and flowers to lady bank managers and it has increased referrals for every aspect of my operation. Just last week i signed 10 new clients to A/R division of Envision Financial, 5 for Credit Repair,3 Debt Settlement,and 2 Book Keeping. May I add for those who would read this, Credit Repair and Debt Settlement go hand in hand when done properly. Email me if Mike is ok with that I can provide it or he can. I love this company.

  12. Suzanne Y says:

    Mike,

    I appreciate your point in this article about how we should only take clients that we can help. I also like your advice on listening to the client because we will only know if our services will be of any value to our clients when we know what they need. And we can only discover what the truly need by listening. Thanks again, Mike, for your valuable insights.

  13. Brian says:

    Mike,

    Great views as always.. very valued insight for everyone in the industry!

  14. Joseph De Marco says:

    Hey Mike,
    Instead of sending cards is it ok to send emails to referral partners for holidays, birthdays, etc?

  15. Phil Hogg says:

    I have been in the habit of sending birthday cars for years and it's remarkable the numbers of e-mails I get back. Tanks for the great webinar today. I would like to have the ACH software you mentioned

  16. Mike,

    Great article. We sent out Thanksgiving Cards this year and I am going to add Birthday Cards to that list.

    Janice Pantano

  17. David Weisong says:

    I love this article and I'm a big fan of approaching marketing promotions with a twist! Thanks for a terrific webinar today.

  18. Ozzy Favela says:

    Lots and lots of marketing ideas today. I personally had just added AWEBER to my marketing arsenal, now I feel more assured because of you that Im heading in the right direction. MLS strategies are awesome

  19. Todays webinar was really good. I try not to miss any of them. Thanks Mike for making this available…lots of helpful suggestions David

  20. Ruth G says:

    I just attended my first webinar on 3/3/2010 and you are really paying it forward. Hope to see you at the Dallas, Tx event and thanks so much for coming.

  21. Dear Mike & DisputeSuite Crew:

    We appreciate all of your helpful and useful information. Creditbizblog.com has all kinds of useful information. On this weeks webinar when you had The Wolf of Wallstreet with no notice was amazing!
    A webinar like this is worth so much for me and my business, I cant thank you enough.
    I look forward to attending the Credit Repair Bootcamp (send me a link for this please), and learning as much as I can from you guys!
    Thanks again!

  22. Hi Mike! Thanks a bunch for answering my question on the webinar today! It was EXTREMELY enlightening as usual. Everyday, I think I'm beginning to turn into a little Mike Jr'ette LOL … because as I'm auditing credit reports everyday, I get so passionate about it and I get so upset that although there's laws in place governing agencies such as the "Big Three", they're not truly enforced and it makes me feel as though, the Gov't. agencies have only put these Laws and Acts into place to shut people up and I just get soooooo heated about that, LOL. But anyway, the great thing about this is that we have people like you on our side who can answer our questions and really help us to fight back. Thanks to you, not only can I say I'm an Expert in this field, but I can also walk and talk like an Expert in this field. So thanks a bunch Mike.

    P.S. – By the way, I just love this article! Take Care! 🙂

    -Yusheeka Davis

  23. Renee Crenshaw says:

    Hi Mike,

    The April 2010 Bookcamp was the Bomb! I had a great time and met a lot of very beautiful people. I am so excited about the information that was shared and the friendships made. This event made me proud to be in the industry. Thank you again for being such a great mentor. Also your staff is the best.

  24. Ryan says:

    Mike – Thanks for the webinar today, it was great. It's nice that you are so up to date with what goes on in our field. Learning the impact of those new laws in your webinar today was priceless. Thanks again and I look forward to getting the notes from the webinar as you mentioned.

  25. Erik says:

    Good information on this post. Thank you for the above. Thank you also for having Kerry and Renee on today's webinar. Great information for relationship building with attorneys. Attorneys put their pants on the same way everyone else does . . . one leg at a time.

  26. Keith Knapp says:

    Love the new updates to Dispute Suite. It has really helped our backend process and communications! Keep up the good upgrades.

  27. Cheryl Risner says:

    Thank you for the information. I always enjoy the webinars. It's so helpful to get someone else's perspective on the business. We are often so set in our own thinking that we miss so many opportunities that are available.

  28. Jonathan Lusk says:

    Mike Citron has been sooo instrumental in my pursuit of excellence in the credit repair business. He has taught me how to be legal, ethical and compliant. Give, give, give, and then give some more !!! Definitely the way to prosper and profit while changing and saving lives !!!

  29. linda coyle says:

    Hi Mike, I worked for a credit repair co., assuring realtors that when they sent their client to our co., that we would take very good care of their clients and return them with a qualified score. I believed it. She has closed the biz. (I never got paid for the sales fees, expenses or anything). I had assured these people that we would take care of them and now it was crashing. SO, after researching several credit repair orgs, I decided on your program. In one of your presentations you advised us about getting a company to outsource our processing. One of your recommendations was Angela Setters-Bessard. WHAT A FIND!! She has become such a great friend and mentor and prayer partner. My biggest problem is that I gave these people my WORD that (we) I would take care of them.! I intend to keep it. I was taught that a person is only as good as their word! I now have 21 files, that were paid for to the prev. owner, that I am trying to finish their credit repair because I gave my word. Through your programs, blogs, and webinars, I have been able to give myself a fairly fast education. Your company was very easy to work with when I had to cancel my Bootcamp tickets and they graciously applied them to my DisputeSuite balance. I am still learning my way around in these two packages but it’s getting easier. I have a long way to go and a lot to learn but it’s exciting. My passion has always been helping people in any way I can so this business is so rewarding for me. I watched today with amazement at Joel’s presentation. I desperately want to attend with one of your tickets but I also understand if I cannot. (still friends!) 🙂 I am still learning in both packages but everything helps. The webinars are especially helpful because we can ask ?’s right then and get answers right away. The posts and recorded webinars are so great to refer to when something comes up that we might have missed previously. Thanks Mike for all the guests, posts, webinars and hard work you and your staff put in for us every day. I don’t know how we can ever thank you enough. Learning Newbie – Linda

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