Growing a business can be achieved in two ways – you can attract new customers or clients or you can encourage your existing customers and clients to increase their spend with your company. Both are important but many soloists focus their attention on expanding their reach (attracting new customers) rather than up-selling to those who are already loyal to them.
Your current customer database can provide an enormous amount of information that can help you grow your business without having to source new clients. First of all you need to make sure you are capturing useful information about your existing clients. Knowing their contact details, how much and how frequently they have spent with you and what they buy is critical. Analysing this data will show you if your client base is growing, stagnant or in decline.
Look at your inactive clients and consider why they may have stopped using your business as frequently as they used to. Have price rises bitten too deeply? Have you lost ground to your competitors? Or is your service or product no longer relevant to customers? Have you lost contact with them because your communication methods are not frequent enough or just not working? Find out the answers to these questions and it will help you identify and solve problem. Get back in contact with your inactive clients and find out why they haven’t used your business recently.
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To maintain your relevance to your existing client base you might have to rethink the services or products you provide to ensure you are meeting your clients’ changing needs.
A client that I work with has a large database of clients and prospects that has been collected over 15 years in business. Recently, I undertook a telemarketing project for this client to find many of the contacts have out-of-date email addresses. The simple act of calling these contacts to update their details, and then backing this up with marketing, gave my client a new window of opportunity with old clients and prospects.
When was the last time you called old clients?
Maintaining existing client relationships is very important to solo business. Attracting new customers is vital, but once you’ve engaged them in your business strengthening your relationship with them will make sound financial and marketing sense.
Do you focus on strengthening existing client relationships or building new ones?
“ To maintain your relevance to your existing client base you might have to rethink the services or products you provide. ”