Today I had to have a hard talk with one of my clients.

He’s an owner of an insurance agency and one of the clients who I have on a monthly retainer. We manage his website, PPC campaigns and do CRO work.

I recently met with his marketing coordinator like I do every two weeks to check in, update them on changes and to get feedback on the quality of leads we’re generating.

For the last three months the feedback has all been positive. 

But on the last call she said they’ve only had ONE lead that’s been in their ideal account size. She didn’t make a big deal about it, sort of said it in passing. So I could have let it go. But I didn’t.

I didn’t because I was shocked! For three months I’ve been hearing, “Yes, the leads are good.”

So after the call I gathered my thoughts and then emailed her and the owner and basically said, “Hey, what’s going? For three months you’re telling me things are good and they I hear this. Let’s talk.”

We had that talk today. 

And even though it was hard, it was worth it. One thing I’m learning is not to avoid difficult conversations but to embrace them. The obstacle really is the way!

I found out that most of the quotes we’ve been generating for them have been $1,000 or less premium policies but they really want $3,000 and higher ones.

So I asked more questions and identified some actions we could take to adjust our campaigns to go after those higher premium types.

After the call I immediately recorded a screencast for my PPC manager to let her know about the changes we want to make and the new direction we’re headed.

I then sent an email to the client thanking him for his time and letting him know specific actions we will take early next week based on the new information I had.

Like I said, it wasn’t “fun” having this talk but I knew I had to do it. I couldn’t just let it go and “hope” things will get better.

If I did then I’d eventually lose them as a client. And it’s way harder to acquire a new client then to retain a current one. And since I’m fully committed to focusing on services that generate recurring revenue I want to really master the art of retention. Because it can mean the difference between a $22,000 deal (if they cancelled 6 months after launching) or a $52,000 if they stayed for 24 months.

$30,000 is worth a few uncomfortable moments, wouldn’t you agree?

So what about you? Is there a hard conversation you’ve been avoiding with a client or partner that you know you should have?

Then send an email to them right now and schedule that call! Don’t wait. Do it now!