As a freelance trainer in a competitive market there is always a temptation to be super focused on getting new business. However, as we all know it’s much easier to get work from existing clients rather than new ones.
Once you have done a piece of work for a new client first and foremost you want them to be really satisfied with the training you have delivered. BUT you also want them to see you as their trainer of choice, the number 1 person they will automatically turn to when they have a training need. Repeat work makes good business sense but it’s also good for the soul! There’s nothing worse than putting a huge amount of effort into getting a new client only to go into the organisation for a couple of days training and then never see them again. It can all seem a bit pointless.
In my experience there is ONE thing that will keep your clients coming back for more over and above just doing a good job in the training room. And that’s to become one of the family. Getting your feet under the table to such an extent that they see you as part of the organisation and you feel like an employee.
Becoming part of the family means:
1. Thoroughly understanding the business, their problems, challenges and opportunities.
2. Getting to know others in the organisation, not just the ones you are training.
3. Adding value by offering things such as pre course TNA’s, on-site research, post workshop follow ups.
4. Being responsive and willing to help them solve problems, even if it means recommending another trainer!
WARNING: This doesn’t mean you should stop feeding your pipeline and building new business. There are obvious dangers in putting all your eggs in one basket and becoming over reliant on one or two clients. But it does mean that you should put equal if not more effort into nurturing the clients you already have.