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Right. Now, last week I promised to give you my first Recession Busting Secret, entitled “First Put Your Efforts Into Your Existing Clients, and Solidify Your Base!” So let’s get started.
I’ve always told my clients that one of the most important things they can do in their business BEFORE trying to find ever more new and exciting NEW clients, is to FIRST put your efforts into your existing clients, and solidify your base!
Why? Because they have already proven themselves as fans and buyers of your product, by buying from you in the past! They already know you, if you did a good job in helping fulfill their needs then they are already predisposed to do business with you again, and if you took my advice in collecting their contact details then it is much easier and cheaper to communicate with them, than to find new clients.
Now you may say that your business is different. That people don’t need to buy from you that often, if ever at all, so there’s no point keeping in contact… Not so! Never forget that not only do your past clients have family and friends who may someday want your product, and that a recommendation from a known and trusted acquaintance is always going to be better than any guarantee you could ever possibly offer, but also you never know when somebody you have sold to in the past loses/breaks etc their beloved “whatsit” and suddenly wants a new one! And you want to be sure that you’re the one to come to when they do.
Take Joe Girrard, the most successful car salesman in the world – as acknowledged in the Guiness World Book of Records. Where other car salesmen (or women) may consider selling 5-6 cars in a month a good month, Joe has consistently sold 5-6 cars a DAY for 12 years straight!!
So how does he do it? He keeps in continual contact with anyone who has ever bought a car, FOREVER! Even if you move house and don’t tell him, he’ll track you down and make sure you still get his monthly cards. So just in the off-chance that you’re ready for a new car, who are you going to think of first? Joe Girrard of course!
Losing customers through neglect or sloppiness in especially painful in tough times. The cost of replacing them is higher and the difficulty of replacing them greater. This is the time to increase the frequency and quality of communication with customers, to reward their loyalty, to incentivise their patronage. It is amazing to me just how bad most salespeople and business owners are at this in good economic times!
Pay attention to this…. just doing what you do competently or delivering your product as agreed is NOT enough to earn your customer’s subsequent business.
And, in tough times, your competitors quickly resort to price cutting, so your customers will have cheaper prices shoved in their faces even more than usual. If you are not countering this with a “quality relationship”, you WILL lose.
Your most valuable asset, regardless of the economy, is your list of clients and prospects. Even more important is your relationship with them, and what they know you for, in other words, what makes you stand out in their mind. This is particularly true in a difficult economic climate.
The point is that preservation of your customer base and its value becomes dramatically more important the tougher the economy is. In truth, most businesses that fail, large or small, do not do so because of an inability to attract customers; they fail because of an inability to keep customers coming back.
So… If you want to survive and even thrive in these dark and dreary economic times, remember to always first put your efforts into your existing clients, and solidify your base!
And watch out for next week’s rant, where I’ll be getting down and dirty with my Recession Busting Secret #2, entitled, “Grab Your Client’s and Prospect’s Attention Using Ballsy, In Your Face Advertising.”
Have a great weekend!
All the best,
Committed to Elevating the Financial Wealth and Wellbeing of Society Through Entrepreneurial Excellence and Guilty of Conspiracy to Create Capitalism
Posted on August 29, 2008 - 08:37 PM- Updated on August 29, 2008 - 08:37 PM