When it costs between 5 and 10 times more to get a new client than it does to keep an existing client, why is it we often ignore our existing clients? I suspect it’s because of the excitement we get when we land that new client, whereas dealing with an existing customer is pretty routine in comparison.
The sales process doesn’t end when the contract is signed or the product is delivered, it’s quite the contrary. In many cases it’s just the beginning of a longer term relationship. How you manage that relationship will dictate the impact that customers has on your future revenues. It is said that if you increase sales by just 5% from your existing customers, you can increase your profitability from between 25%-85%. Why? When you think about the effort that goes into getting new customers, something we rarely quantify, keeping them as customer is so much easier. If everything went well on their first interaction with you, there really is no reason they won’t do business with you again and again.
Building these kinds of relationships takes a commitment of time. To begin with, you need to be visible to your clients on a regular basis. There are many ways to accomplish this without leaving your office. It can be as simple as a phone call or an email. Ideally though, in person contact is usually the most effective especially in business to business environments. Meeting with the customer at their place of business allows you to be visible to others at the company and serves to reinforce you as a supplier.
Don’t fall into the trap of only chasing new customers at the expense of losing an existing one. Yes new business is the lifeblood of every company, but don’t confuse new business with new customers. Because the more your existing customers are buying from you the less you have to sell and getting deeply entrenched with your clients is always beneficial
Excerpted from Greg’s upcoming book-Get More Life Out of Your Business©
Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2012
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