In today’s hyper-competitive business environment wooing and winning new clients is getting more and more difficult. It’s tough to differentiate and in this vast sea of competitors, retaining clients is more important than ever before. Client churn is a situation to be avoided at all costs.

Here are three things that you can do to minimize client attrition and retain and grow the relationships with your long-term clients:

Demonstrate respect and consideration

Seems pretty simple and straightforward but unfortunately some companies frequently take their long-standing clients “for granted” and no longer show them the same attentiveness that they provide to newer clients. Taking clients for granted is never a good thing and is often the first step towards client defection. Just because you have a long-standing relationship doesn’t mean that you can afford to be less thoughtful or proactive with these loyal and long-established clients.

Give something for nothing

C’mon, you’ve been billing them for a long time, right? It’s time to think about what you can do for these clients at absolutely no cost. These “gifts” or “bonuses” can include an add-on that usually costs money such as additional services or professional time spent on their work, free shipping and other things that are meaningful to the client. Don’t worry that once you do this the client will always “expect” that they’ll get something for nothing. If you have a long-standing and mutually respectful relationship it won’t happen.

Continue to stay current on what’s going on in their industry

Same old, same old isn’t good for your business or their business either! It’s important to stay current and knowledgeable about changes that are taking place in your clients’ industries, new products and services that are being introduced to the marketplace, new competitors and anything else that might impact their business. Remember that you must nurture long established relationships and be a business resource, rather than a “vendor.”

If you continue to build the relationships with your existing clients you will find that you have less of a need to continually bring in new accounts and, while you can never totally eliminate the need for prospecting, it is usually far less expensive to mine the gold in your existing client base than to always be searching for new.