In business one of the key aims must be to turn a “suspect” into a “prospect” and then into a paying “client.” Competition is increasing in every sector and the emphasis on providing a great package to clients has never been stronger. You can pretty much take it as read that clients simply do not want to part with their hard earned cash unless they really have to and the days of them flicking through the Yellow Pages to find someone to help them are long gone. Reaching and retaining new clients are not only the key to business success, but these clients also play a huge part in on organisations’ on-going marketing.
I read recently that the general feeling among clients is that differentiation is lacking between the offers made to them and you will find that your competitors are not as active as they should be when marketing themselves so Bath Marketing Consultancy feels that organisations who make a concerted effort to stand out will have a major advantage when it comes to attracting new business.
In my opinion there are probably 3 ways in which you can “lose” business –
You can lose an existing client
You can have your proposal rejected in favour of another organisation
You can fail to be invited to pitch/tender
…and it is this final reason which is the worst because you haven’t even got to stage 1. As I have written in a previous article (Leaky Bucket), your objective is to keep the bucket full of water; to overflowing if possible, but the bucket has a hole in it and this means water will leak out. In this case the client is the water and it is almost impossible to plug the hole.
However, do not despair! With the right planning, you can make the diameter of the hole very small indeed.
Contractual agreements, proper client maintenance and servicing all go some way to facilitating this. On the flip side, there is also the danger of opening the tap above the bucket and letting new business flow in continuously neglecting existing clients as a result.
If you truly believe in new business the only way to look at things is to consider every existing client as vulnerable and new business as a constant need. In addition, no matter how busy you are at the present moment, you must sell for tomorrow. If you wait until a time when your business is less busy, it will be too late!
Make sure you put real effort into making yourself (and your business offer) remarkable. You must stand out vs all the competition and you must put a real marketing strategy in place which will keep the tap turned on at the right speed!