You are leaving me?

Who will I call at your firm?

I’m lost without you

You lost your champion at one of your key clients. Maybe they retired, maybe they went and found a new job, either way, it’s not easy. You’ve spent years working with *THAT* person. You know their kid’s favorite sports, their wife’s favorite flowers and who they root for on Sunday afternoons. Now they’re gone, and all that revenue might just go with them. It’s hard, it sucks.

So, get your pint of ice-cream (or beer) and drown those sorrows. Wipe the tears, because now it’s time to find the new champion. Here’s a quick three step path to make a champion change a little easier.

Step One: Appreciation

Remember the good times and get a good hand off. Does your departing client know how much you appreciate them, not just the projects, but what made them special to you? The laughs, the ability to text anytime during a project? Do they know how much you appreciated the referrals they gave, and the good references provided?

Let them know. They were crucial to your success, now make sure that you are crucial to setting up an effective transition. Transitions are important, and a successful one is key to falling into the good graces of a new Champion.

Step Two: Listening

Demonstrate to your new contact your knowledge of what they are walking into, offer them help as they step into new shoes, and show them your understanding that what worked for your past champion may not be what works for them. Talk to them, set up a meeting with them, discuss with them the way you’ve handled deliverables over the years as you’ve served their predecessor and begin a dialogue of what their needs may be in similar situations. Perhaps most importantly, put into action what you learn. Actions are far more powerful than words. Listen, Learn, Review and React accordingly.

Step Three: Diversify

Don’t let yourself get caught off guard again. You never know when and how a champion will leave, and potentially they could leave you high and dry. Maybe this time you were lucky and got a heads up. What happens if there is a more sudden departure next time? Make sure your current champion knows the other members of your team. Make sure you have forged relationships deeper into your clients’ organization as well. Cross-selling your services may help create additional champions within your client’s organization. The fact that your new champion can be lauded for finding an amazing provider with such a diverse skill set will not only increase your share of wallet, but also increase their trust in you.

We know you loved your old champion. You both walked through the journey of building a strong relationship. However, using these three simple steps of appreciation, listening, and diversifying your new relationship, you can steady your ship, and build a relationship that can last for years to come.

Don't be caught off guard when you transition to a new champion. Use the earliest opportunity to show them you want to understand what works for them. Let Client Savvy work with your firm to develop a Client Listening Program designed around your firm’s specific growth goals. Give us a call at 1-866-433-7322.

Ryan Suydam

Ryan Suydam co-founded Client Savvy in 2004, to help firms create fierce client loyalty by designing, implementing, and measuring client experiences. He has coached nearly 700 organizations and over 30,000 professionals on the skills required to be “client savvy.”

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