As the Mercury Rises, Don’t Let Your Business Cool Down.
It’s nice when business is “hot, hot, hot,“ but the season often leads to a Summer slump. With vacations and picnics, not to mention the company kick-ball league, it’s easy to lose focus on bringing in new business.
How can you avoid the mid-summer slowdown? Here are three ways to keep business blooming…
1. Stay in touch with current customers
Do you make a point of touching base with current and recent customers? Surprisingly, many companies neglect this highly valuable group.
Assuming “no news is good news” is the wrong approach when dealing with your customer base. Their recent purchase shows they value what you have to offer, and failing to follow-up not only leads to missed opportunities to expand the relationship, but also may create dissatisfaction and inhibit referrals.
If you don’t have an active strategy to keep in touch, set up a system to reach out periodically. You can use sophisticated CRM or marketing automation tools, or simply schedule calls in your calendar. Either way, stay in touch to discover new opportunities to expand your existing business.
2. Reconnect with past customers
After the sale, corporate attention often moves on to other things, like finding the next big deal. Past customers can be your #1 source of new business and ideas to improve your bottom line, so they should not be forgotten.
There are a number of ways to reconnect. Get back in touch with special offers, use surveys to gather feedback or reach out personally to ask for suggestions on ways to improve your offerings. Share articles or information of interest. Send an invitation to an upcoming event.
Make staying in touch a habit and you’ll be surprised how often these little reminders will trigger a referral or a new piece of business.
3. Mine your lost customer file
Whether you didn’t close the deal or the relationship fizzled, you can still catch the one that got away.
It’s very common for a buyer who chose another supplier to have a less than stellar experience (see point 1). When you lose out on an opportunity, wait a reasonable amount of time, then reach out to see how things are going. Keep building the relationship and you’re likely to get a second chance at the business.
If an existing customer moved on they may have discovered that what seemed like a better deal really wasn’t. If they left for price or the promise of better service, it’s possible those promises didn’t pan out. Stay engaged in a positive way and you may be able to win back the business or earn a referral to another buyer who is a better fit.
Why it works
A wonderful thing about these three approaches is that they fit perfectly with unpredictable summer schedules. Staying in touch doesn’t require customers to travel or attend big events. They already know you, so there’s no pressure to find time in a busy schedule to meet with you. A simple phone call, text or email can be enough to show they’re on your mind.
Simply staying connected can be the secret to summer success…and it’s a winning strategy all year long.
Photo by Joellyn Sargent. Copyright 2012. all rights reserved.