3 Magic Questions to Revive Past Clients

3 Magic Questions to Revive Past Clients

Is There Gold Lying Dormant
in Your Database?

It’s easy sometimes to consider former clients to be dead-end opportunities, assuming that they are angry or dissatisfied in some way and are happily doing business elsewhere.

The longer you wait to make contact again, the harder it is for you to pick up the phone and call. Yet, it’s just as likely that the client bears no ill-will towards you at all but has not been active for any number of other reasons, including the recent restrictions on business openings. Often, a single phone call can reactivate a former client, and in any case, you will have reminded them that you are still there to serve them whenever they have any questions.

Besides, you have likely added new products, services or experiences to your service package since you last worked with them, and might have moved higher up on their value scale as a result. It’s just that they don’t know what you now have available.

Consider the following statistics. The average company has a 60-70% probability of repeat business from active clients; a 20-40% probability of selling to lapsed clients; and only a 5-20% probability of making a sale to a new prospect.  Attracting new clients also has the highest marketing and overhead cost of the three potential target markets since it requires the lengthy process of getting them to know, like and trust you before buying anything from you.

Bottom line: Keeping current clients and winning back dormant ones are much wiser investments to make.

Start winning back those clients by developing a good script for your customer service team to re-qualify past clients. Include in your script what I call the 3 Magic Questions:

Question # 1: “What did you like most about working with us?”

Question #2: “What improvements would you like to see made?”

Question #3: “If you could have anything you want now, what would that look like?” Then decide whether to pose a closing question, or to simply confirm contact details, and ask for permission to call again with an update following their suggestions.

The likelihood is that most former clients will welcome your call. And if there was a problem before, you now have the opportunity to make right, allowing you to win back their trust. But the 3 Magic Questions have far more value than just warming up past clients. With slight modifications and a bit of practice, you will find them useful in any number of situations in business and in life. Here are a few examples:

At a Networking Event or on a Sales Call: Someone asks you about how you are different from their existing supplier. Instead of giving them a spiel, use these questions to let prospects tell you exactly what they do and don’t like about their existing supplier and what they would ideally want so you can respond with a customized answer, asking perhaps if they are open to considering your company as a back-up supplier should they ever need one, or trying your “supplementary service” for now.

Making a Customer Service Call:  The answers to these questions help you develop new products or repackage existing ones to their specifications. Clients love giving advice so be sure to thank them for their ideas. Call and thank them again once you’ve decided how to incorporate their answers into your product and service offerings.

Up-Selling Existing Clients to a Higher Level of Service:  After listening carefully to their ideas, you can share with them what you think will come closer to that ideal situation with an enhancement of their existing contract.

 When a Client Complains About  Your Service:  Hear him or her out and be a good listener. Say how much you appreciate their frankness and promise to make right as much as possible. (Then do it!) Then, in a more light-hearted way, you can approach Question # 1 in this way, “But there must be something that you like about our relationship. Would you mind sharing that with me so we can end on a high note?” Then, as and if appropriate, go ahead with questions 2 and 3.

Adopting these 3 Magic Questions will make selling so much easier for you and your team, and when used purposefully, they really do seem to perform magic. Happy selling!

© 2020 Mary Lou Gutscher, Success Mentor