Let’s ignore for a moment those clients who you no longer work with because the relationship broke down for whatever reason.
Let’s focus on those clients you had a good relationship with.
You probably did some good work for them at the time.
You probably built up some trust.
Perhaps the client worked with you for a while and then left the company? Or maybe they moved positions? Perhaps they re-located to another country? Went on maternity leave? Took a sabbatical? Or maybe the project simply came to an end and there was no further work at the time?
Whatever the reason for the ending of the relationship these clients had experience of working with you. They know you can deliver and they trust you.
Therefore the barrier of unfamiliarity has already been overcome and it might mean they could have another project for you at some point or indeed could lead you to other new business prospects.
The key is to maintain contact to ensure they don’t forget you exist.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. They may refer you to others
If you’re lucky your ex-client may know other potential contacts from their network that they’d be willing to introduce you to if you approach them sensitively.
2. They may give you a testimonial you can use for your promotional material
Did you ever capture in writing how pleased they said they were with your work? No? Then why not ask them if they’d give you a written recommendation that you can share on your website?
3. They may share your contact details with their networks
By keeping in touch via social media and an e-newsletter you can continue to engage with your ex-client and nurture the relationship. Conversing via Facebook/Twitter/Linked-in allows you to show off any new work you’ve done, any new talent you’ve acquired and new successes you’ve had as well as sharing industry-relevant news. If your client is still in the same industry hopefully they will be interested to receive relevant updates.
Sending any snippets of information such as relevant news articles is also a nice way to re-engage and keep your agency top of mind.
4. They will share information with you
While social media is great to remind your ex-client you are still around and thriving, there’s no substitute for networking in person so don’t let them fall off your invite list for any social events and catch up for coffee or lunch now and again if possible.
Find out how their business is doing and ask for their thoughts on the industry and competitors. The conversation may uncover new business opportunities or leads.
Business is often conducted during informal meetings so make the effort to meet up once in a while.
Could your network of ex-clients lead to potential new business opportunities?