Instead, focus on the relationship.
For many of us in business, we have been taught and followed a path to increase our sales and revenue. So, the emphasis is on the new sale- the new customer. You see this in play every day. My favorite, which most of us can identify with, is local cable. Their willingness to offer new customers a much lower rate while their current customers ask, what about us?” has apparently fallen on deaf ears. This tells customers, like me, that they don’t care about keeping the relationships they have. This has resulted in people, like me, going elsewhere.
While increasing your customer base is still important, we have found that focusing on developing and building a relationship with the customer increases revenue and long-term profitability. It’s difficult and expensive to get new customers. Why not focus on keeping the ones you have? Remember, while your business may be different, all of our customers have options to go elsewhere.
Start by really listening to your customers and even asking what it is they would like to see more of from you. Make sure you stay in contact with them on a regular basis, providing them with updates, thoughts, and ideas to help them grow and prosper.
Don’t get the wrong idea, building relationships with your customers is also hard work, but the long-term results could be the difference when you are in times like these in staying in business or struggling to survive.