No doubt as the recession takes hold companies are at risk to lose more customers than new ones coming in. The problem: If you don’t invest in keeping and developing your existing clients – especially in tough times – then it’s more than likely that your business will decline.
You’re no doubt familiar with the mantra that states that it costs about 5 times more to bring in a new customer than to sell to existing customers.
So the question is what are you doing to communicate with your customers? Do you have a structured customer development program to up-sell, cross-sell and above all manage your relationships in such a way to make sure these customers – whom you’ve already spent a lot of money acquiring – from walking?
Here are some ideas you may want to focus on:
- Establish a systematic, formal process to cultivate and grow high potential accounts
- Create a schedule to “touch” key accounts regularly
- Build variable schedule based upon account potential (not current value of the relationship)
- Develop a strategy to manage marginal accounts ( those that cannot be effectively managed by the sales force)
- Outsource is one way to go
- Raise awareness of new products and services
- Under promise – over deliver