What is your renewal strategy? Do you have one? Does your franchise’s sales staff have one? Or are you merely initiating based on last year’s customers, planning on turning them over to next year’s sales.
Just think about it — if you could increase your retention rate you would have to sell a lot less from year to year to exceed goals.
One Percentage Point
What does one renewal percentage point mean to your business? And if you increase the rate two or three percent how impactful would that be to the bottom line and accomplishing this year’s sales goal?
How much time do you spend focusing on retention? How many touch points do you need to increase the chance of the renewal?
The saying “it is easier to keep a client than acquire a new one” is still true. It’s really important to understand how many touch points it takes for a successful renewal. We need to make sure we reach out throughout the year instead of just at renewal time.
Developing Your Strategy
This strategy, as well as data points about your client, needs to be tracked in CRM and used accordingly.
A personal touch can really differentiate you. Remember, people have to like you and trust you to buy from you. The better the bond you build between you and your client, the more likely they are to renew. If the renewal is an iffy situation, the value of the relationship can push you over the top.
One renewal strategy that I have found effective is the point system. Through your data, determine what you need as the best methods to ensure that renewal. With that in mind, allocate an ideal mix of touch points and assign points to each method.
For example, you may decide that you need 4 phone calls, 2 in person visits and 12 e-mails. So then you assign points to each method and come up with an ideal amount of total points that are minimally needed for each account. This can all be tracked in CRM and the manager can help oversee the process as well.
Benchmark Your Goals
After running through this for a couple of years, you will be able to benchmark and create more accurate goals. Your efforts and time will be much more focused and efficient.
Another key to retention is year-round engagement. Beyond the one-on-one arena with the client and the sales rep, can you have events where the client gets to engage with the property, team, players, and front office personnel?
A luncheon featuring the GM, team president, owner, or players can go a long way. Many purchases are emotional. If we can create an emotional bond, that will also help to solidify a renewal.
Creating Renewal Results
Any exclusive opportunity for the client or insight that they can get beyond the general public is great for the client, and increases your chances of seeing renewal.
When considering what to invest in the commitment made to the renewals, always look at the lifetime value of the client and not just a single year’s renewal. Make sure the management team understands the bigger picture. In preparing for this you need to determine the average length of time for each client.
Developing retention specialists on your service team will be an incredible asset.