Marketing Inspiration #1 – Stop chasing new business.

If you are responsible for bringing in new business for your company you probably got a momentary sense of relief when you read the headline for this article, probably followed straight after by the rational side of your brain shouting something like “Yeah right – now get back on the phone and start cold calling again”.

New business is important, but so many companies are actually making more work for themselves by constantly chasing new clients and neglecting the easiest place that sales will come from. Your existing and lapsed customers.

Now take a moment to answer this question…

How many of your previous customers have gone on to use an alternative supplier for products or services that you could have supplied to them?

If the answer is ‘none’ you are either very lucky or very naive.

Imagine all that lovely money going to someone else. All that time bending over backwards and burning the midnight oil for a customer only to have them go and find another supplier for something you could have done with your eyes shut! Doesn’t it make you sick?

So how do we stop that happening?

The answer (as ever) is surprisingly simple. Stay in touch. Communicate. Inform. Let them know you enjoyed working for them and keep them informed of everything else you do.

Now this isn’t always easy to do, especially if you are in a small business and especially if your time is taken up looking for the next new client.

So what can we be doing to stay in touch when we are short on time and resources?

The phone is always a great way to stay in touch but is easily ‘put off until tomorrow’ when you are busy with other things. Also, if you have a lot of clients it isn’t always practical to call them all.

Why not consider a newsletter? These are a great way of conveying news and services to multiple customers in a consistent manner, they can also be sent to coincide with seasonal trends in your business such as Christmas or Summer Holidays.

A ‘post sale’ brochure is a great tool as well – send it after your first job with a client, it can contain the all important ‘did you know we also do…’ message.

Emails have become very popular but are easily ignored.

The letter is a great tool as are ‘special offers’. A simple voucher book giving a new client X% off your other services.

So, here is another question for you to answer…

Can you list ten lapsed customers who would benefit from one of your services?

Do you have your list? Good – now how are you going to tell them you can help?