Keeping Clients; The True Secret to Success

keeping clients is the secret to success

The number one question I’m asked by the students who take my best-selling course Work from Home as a Virtual Assistant is “How do I get clients?”  Ironically, not one student has ever asked me, “How to do I keep clients?”  While the importance of getting clients can’t be argued, knowing how to keep them once you have them is equally important. And it goes beyond my students.  A recent article at Small Business Trends shares that only 6% of small businesses focus on keeping their customers.  Why exactly are so few businesses concerned about keeping clients?  More importantly, why should they be?

The benefits of keeping clients

  • Engaging existing clients is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. Turning them into ‘raving fans’ who sing your praises to others and send referrals your way is also less time consuming and easier than chasing after new ones.
  • For businesses selling products, the success rate of selling to a new customer is between 5 to 20%.  Upselling to existing customers has a success rate of 60 to 70%.  
  • For service-based businesses, referrals from existing clients are 10% to 30% more likely to convert than from other lead sources.  The onboarding process also tends to be faster due to ‘borrowed trust’, meaning that those that are referred to you already perceive you as trustworthy thanks to the existing client who referred them to you.
  • Referrals create more referrals. A client obtained through a referral is much more likely to turn around and refer you to someone else.
  • Having a base of satisfied, existing clients reduces stress and eliminates the constant need to be signing on new ones or finding new customers to buy your products.

Small businesses are bombarded constantly with the need to market, and most of the advice they are being given is completely focused on obtaining new customers.  Very few will share the true secret of success, which is in keeping clients you already have.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.