Simple Two Step Process for Losing Clients

  • Is your customer list so huge that you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of contacts?
  • Are repeat clients bothersome and too much of a maintenance nightmare for you to imagine?
  • Do you enjoy the challenge of searching for new clients?

If you answered yes to any of these, the following two-step process will help you reduce the number of clients that you’re currently working with.

Step 1 – Don’t Say Thank You

You’ve delivered a great service to your client. What more do you need to do? Don’t waste your time being gracious with thanks. Saying thank you is very old fashioned, and a huge time hog. Imagine the money you’ll save by not sending that handwritten thank you note that includes a couple of your business cards. Referrals are so overrated and they make your client list bigger.

Step 2 – Don’t Check In or Follow Up

Go ahead and ignore your clients. Don’t reach out to them with a monthly reminder of your services or let them know that you have some open time in your schedule for their last minute projects. Don’t take the initiative to find out how your client’s project turned out because you’ve done your thing, got paid and now you’re on to your next client. Since you find maintaining client relationships such a burden, neglecting them in this fashion will free up time for you to look for squeaky new ones. Simple.

But Seriously 

By now I’m, sure you understand how effective this one-two punch can be. Clients like to feel important and worthy of your time. It takes just a few moments at the end of your day to write a quick thank you note to the clients you’ve worked with. If you have clients that you provide services to several times a month, write them one thank you at the end of the month.

My current doctor is one of the best I’ve had. She has my best interest in mind and cares about my health. After out of office procedures, she’ll follow up with me to find out how I’m doing. I love that! She cares and makes me feel important. Imagine how your clients will feel when you check in with them to find out how the project you were involved with turned out. What a great opportunity to talk about their next projects.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from a particular client, send them an e-mail or give them a call. You remember the phone? Maybe you’ve added a new service that you’d like them to know about. This is the perfect time to tell them. You could ask for a testimonial of their experience with you. It will give them reason to recall and express how great it was to work with you.

I hope you found this helpful. And remember, if you don’t have time for all of your clients, send them my way. I’d be happy to give them some attention.

10 thoughts on “Simple Two Step Process for Losing Clients

  1. connieterwilliger June 5, 2011 / 7:37 am

    I get it. I do, really. I’ve been going through my contact list and have uncovered contacts from 2000 that have not been followed up with in about 2 years or more. In a mad push to make sure information is correct I am finding lots of “dead” emails.

    Managing and “feeding” your contacts is probably the most difficult part of our jobs as independent contractors doing everything. All the good intentions of monthly or quarterly newsletters, updating blogs, sending personal handwritten thank you notes sometimes take a back seat to life (aging parents, kids, illness, dance classes).

    But, it has to be done in order to keep the business in business. My summer goal is to make sure that my contact database is up-to-date and whittled down from it’s unwieldy 900 lost and/or neglected names.


    • JCDunn June 5, 2011 / 8:05 am

      Ya, Connie! A clean, well managed client list is a happy one. One way I found to filter a list is to send a mail blast using one of the online services. It’s a quick way to find which addresses are still active.

      Good luck with your summer goal, I’m sure you’ll have a number of clients who will be happy to hear from you. 🙂



  2. Linda Joy June 5, 2011 / 9:52 am

    How true, how true! Great points, Christopher – I find them even more important for those of us mostly working in our own studios without the face to face contact.
    It seems like I am still transitioning from working in a VO-hub to having my own studio (moved from Munich to Colorado). Nobody notices my ‘great attitude’ and ‘good work ethic’ when I record all by myself in my booth, lol. Gotta run and buy some thank you cards 🙂


    • JCDunn June 6, 2011 / 9:29 am

      My virtual or remote representation of myself is one of, if not the most, challenging element of my marketing approach. I’m super sensitive about the e-mail I send and phone interaction. I battle with the balance of being casual and personable while appearing professional. The tradeoff for my clients and prospects not being able to pick up on my charming personality because we’re not face to face, is that I get to arrive to my studio in my favorite Big Dog sweats and a t-shirt. 😉


  3. Sara Dee June 7, 2011 / 9:22 am

    I love this! I’ve printed it out in a fancy font and pinned it on my pin board in my office. I can’t wait to see if any visitors (yes I do get a few in here) read beyond the first bit. Good common sense but such a relief to hear this being said and practiced by others as sometimes you do get a feeling of, ‘is it just me doing this?’ and, ‘has the world moved on without me?’ which comes with the territory of being a sole agent I guess.

    Nice to know manners still matter and those that show gratitude are probably more ‘favours bank’ wealthy than others. Nice one. Thanks for sharing. . . and I’ve a fluffly pair of slippers I love to slip on in my studio, keeps the voice warm!


    • JCDunn June 7, 2011 / 10:35 am

      A blog post suitable for framing? I like it!

      There are a number of folks who believe that maintaining professional relationships is at the center of having a successful small business. My constant cultivation of clients is responsible for the one to two extra gigs a week. I’m sure over time that ratio will improve.


  4. jamie henkin June 7, 2011 / 11:05 am

    Saying thank you is so important. Sending a thank you card in this day and age goes a long way. It’s much more personal than an e-mail, and really makes an impact. I send them all the time.


    • JCDunn June 8, 2011 / 8:39 am

      There must be very few VO peeps who send handwritten cards. My clients typically let me know immediately when they’ve received it and let me know that they appreciate the special touch. It sounds positive to me so I’ll keep doing it.


      • Alisa Beckwith-Ayilliath July 5, 2011 / 8:09 pm

        I’m a huge believer in hand written thank you cards/notes. Like Jamie said, they go a long way in this day and age.


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