By Carmen Gigar

What is the difference between short-term clients and clients for life? What is the key to building retention? Why is building relationships so imperative in today’s business environments?

In today’s fast changing world, clients have so many options it is even more important to strengthen bonds and keep them coming back for more. Building strong, lasting, and authentic relationships helps to create raving fans of your brand.

“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%” (, 2021).

You can begin building relationships with new clients by simply handwriting a note or sending them a special card to mark a milestone in their lives. This shows that your client is more than just a revenue machine for you, they are important to you on a higher level. At ActionCOACH the largest and most successful Business Coaching Franchise in the world, we call this activity adding to your Emotional Bank Account. ActionCOACH teaches all its coaches and their clients that before you can make a withdrawal in this ‘bank account,’ you must make deposits.

Deposits into your client’s banks by means of ‘critical non-essentials’ can boost your account balance. What are critical non-essentials? They can be elaborate gestures such as arranging a gourmet meal for a client and their spouse. You can gift them tickets to their favorite teams sporting events or even send them on a dream vacation. While some of these may seem costly, ask yourself how much the client is worth to the viability of your business. You may find that even an expensive gift comes no where near equally the value of that life-time client.

“It costs up to 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one” (, 2021)

Often business owners don’t have a huge budget for critical non-essentials, so they must get creative. Small budgets don’t mean cheap or thought less. On the contrary, small gestures can be just as meaningful.

Your organization needs to capture relevant and important information from your clients and have a system to manage this activity as you do with any other critical aspect of your business. Don’t sacrifice this part of your business strategy as it can be very lucrative in the long run.

“Loyal customers generate more revenue each year they stay with a company. Statistics indicate that a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 25% – 95%” (, 2021).

Consider capturing the following information from your clients:

  • Names of their children & their birthdays
  • Name and breed of their pets
  • Anniversary and birthdays
  • Favorite sporting team or sport
  • Hobbies and leisure activities (i.e., fishing, ballroom dancing)
  • Favorite food, wine or alcoholic beverage
  • Favorite travel spots or bucket list items

When you have this information, you can make decisions about when and what to deposit in your client’s emotional bank account. Make the deposits meaningful and timely. Personalize any gesture and take time to make even the smallest gesture memorable.

By recognizing the value of your clients, you move them from suspects to raving fans. They then become advocates. They are cheerleaders of your brand and organization and become a means for more referrals and more business opportunities.

Don’t forget to build relationships with your team members as well. Show them some unexpected recognition with fun items like t-shirts, hats etc. Remember that your team is vital to gaining and keeping clients so the more delighted they are by their experience, the more they translate that excitement to your clients and prospects.

Client satisfaction is vital to the long-term success of any business. Team satisfaction ensure that your organization has the vitality and manpower to server clients well. offers several ways to boost your critical non-essential strategy. Check out the new mugs, blankets, shirts, hats, and a series of downable prints of some of ActionCOACH’s most impactful teachings.

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