As a business owner, you are always thinking of ways to find more business. And if you are like most business owners, you probably focus more on acquiring new customers than you do caring for those you already have. But by doing that, you could be creating more marketing work for yourself and leaving a lot of money on the table.
Where you look matters
When entrepreneurs are looking for business, they usually look outward, trying to find new customers. But the more you look outward, the less you look at what you already have. As a result, you may not be giving your current customers the attention they need and deserve, which is sending some of them packing.
If you think about it, there is probably a company that you have left at some point, whether it was for auto insurance, where you got your hair cut, or some other place, and they only noticed once you were gone. Perhaps you got a letter or postcard in the mail where they said they noticed you were gone and would like to get your business back.
Do you see the problem with this? Not only are they trying to get "new" customer (you), but they are also trying to get back the customer they already had! It’s like a dog chasing its tail. And if you fall into this trap, you are constantly working to get customers the same way. Believe me, there is a better way to handle this scenario.
Changing the focus
The answer to getting more business lies within your existing ones. Market to them more and you have discovered the process for growing your business. The key is to market to them before they leave, rather than waiting for them go and then sending them a card to say you appreciated their business and want to know how to get them back. Don’t wait for that point to come. Instead, invite them to stay now. Make them feel like they can’t go elsewhere.
Here’s a few ways you can put the focus on your current clients, and in turn, it will pay off in more business (and possibly more customers):
- Send them periodic thank you messages. Whether it is a hand-written note or quick phone call, they will appreciate that you took the time to think of them. You can do this after a sale or between sales, just be sure to do it.
- Get to know your customers. When your customers feel a connection to you and feel like they know you, they are going to be less likely to take their business elsewhere. They will also feel like you care about them for more than just a sale.
- Take advantage of social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter. It will help you keep in contact with your clients and encourage them to share your site with others.
When you take the time to please the clients you have, you won’t have to put a lot of time into marketing for more customers or making more revenue from your existing ones. That’s because your current, happy customers will do the marketing for you through word of mouth—which by the way, happens to one of the most powerful forms of acquiring new business.
So now is the time to start turning some of your efforts away from always trying to find new customers and instead focus on those you already have. And whatever you do, stop trying to win customers back—instead don't lose them in the first place.