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Click to listen to today's 'Money for Nothing – But Not for Free' Podcast.
For more than 40 years I’ve paid a retainer fee to my life insurance company – and I’ve yet to make a claim! I retain an unused membership with the CAA who will rush to my rescue if my 1967 MGB expires. I’ve had memberships in health clubs, seldom used, but they are always ready to welcome me should I feel the need. In each case – I would say I received good value!
What do you pay for every month but seldom, if ever, use? If you are paying for it, I must assume that the mere availability of it gives you some value – which is why you retain it. So let’s talk about retainers and how you can provide real value to your clients without actually doing anything – other than being ready to spring into action.
A retainer is defined as a fee paid in advance to someone in order to secure or keep their services when required. In other words, it secures your availability. And it’s that availability itself that has value. In your business, start by looking closely at what your clients do and how they do it. There are very likely areas that your clients would love to have you ready and able to step in to help.
If you are doing it well, your client should get reduced overhead and hassle, a higher level of intimacy (which allows you to help at a moment’s notice) and a defacto ‘partner’ who is looking out for their best interests on an ongoing basis.
You will get a predictable stream of revenue, reduced overhead, better account management, greater customer knowledge and customer intimacy and thus greater value provided. And most likely an inside track on other opportunities.
I believe that every company has hidden value to which its clients would love to have access – and would gladly pay for the privilege. If you can’t think of any, send me a note – we love a challenge!
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