Have you ever asked yourself “Where did all of my client’s go?” Maybe you are one of those rare personal chefs that has never had this problem. We become so involved with working in our business that we forget to work on our business. Or maybe you do both but just can’t figure out how to acquire more clients. I know for my business that every February for the past 11 years, it takes a dip. I know other chefs tell me for them it is at different times of the year. I have noticed that whether you are running a chef business or a pet grooming salon there are a few things that always hold true to gain more clients and/or more income.
1. Write an “I miss you…” personal letter to the clients you haven’t talked to in awhile. This is not an email or a text. This is an old-fashioned note or letter. Maybe include a coupon for a free dessert if they are willing to try your services again.
2. Use the good ‘ole telephone. Pick up the phone and call your previous clients and check on them. Remember something special about each client so you can relate to them on a personal level and show that you care.
While these are some great tips for getting old clients back, I want to share with you how to attract new clients to your business. Something we all want!
3. Go back to your networking groups that you have not visited in awhile. I’ll bet the people have changed and want to see a new face. Some ideas of the networking groups that have been successful for me are women network and other business directed entrepreneurial groups such National Association of Business Women Owners (NAWBO).
I have heard a few chefs say that BNI works well but for most it does not. Chambers have worked for some but not for others. Try to find groups with serious business owners. You might have to pay a fee to be apart of them but that generally weeds out people that are not serious. When you go to networking groups, ask others there about the networking groups they belong to. The key to finding success in these groups is to show up consistently
4. Upsell to your current clients. Your current clients already love you and want to buy from you. Offer an additional entrée, a dessert for each meal or a special product offering that you have developed. In summer, I upsell a cut up fruit package as an add on. Most of our clients do not have the time or are simply too lazy to buy fruit especially watermelon and cut it up themselves. They jump at the chance to have several bowls of fresh organic cut-up fruit in their fridge.
Charge them an additional $50 to $75.00 for a “Summer Prep Fruit Package.” What about a grill package? Leave them 3 to 5 marinated meats for them to grill for the weekend. Simply make a marinade and place protein in a zip lock bag and freeze. By the time it thaws out it marinates the meat. I prefer all fresh for my clients, but you get the drift. There is no cooking involved and you can charge and extra $100.
Stay tuned for next week, where I will share more ways of getting new clients! In the mean time, the most important thing to remember is that the quality of your products and services is what will truly determine whether or not you will have returning clients, so treat them like a friend and make sure they are well-taken care of!