Did you go through an annual review recently?
They can be very profitable.
Oh, I’m talking about YOU doing an annual review of your customer and prospect database, and then doing reviews with your customers and prospects.
That’s right. The first place to mine for gold is in the treasure you now possess.
Most people begin a new year with grand plans to increase their new business. Yet many of those same people don’t pick up the easy stuff first, skimming the cream that already residing in their computer. This is an area we often cover in my training workshops for clients.
1. CALL YOUR BEST CUSTOMERS
Of course, you know everything important that’s happened recently in the world of each of your best customers, right?
And you have your thumb on exactly what their plans are for 2012 and beyond, right?
And they’re going to continue buying from you at the same level, right?
Of course you know this because they are very, very important to you, accounting for most of your income.
They are helping to finance that new car, house, boat, or whatever else you have your eye on.
You are ingrained in these accounts because you also know that your smartest, hungriest competitors are having strategic sales meetings right now putting bulls eyes on those accounts, targeting them to steal away from you, so that THEY can get lots of business from them.
What’s that you say?
Maybe all of those things are NOT true? Maybe you should pay more attention to them?
Yes, of course you should. Quickly.
Today. Target the 20% of your customers that now give you over 80% of your business. Call and do an annual review
with them. But DO NOT say you just want to call and make sure everything is OK with them. Be proactive. Tell them that your goal is to help them have their best year ever.
Find out about,
-Bought or sold divisions, assets.
-Added or dropped product lines.
-Changes planned for 2011.
-Personnel changes for them? Promotions. Changes in the department(s) that you affect.
Know the answers to these questions, and you’ll increase your value to them, consequently providing a payoff for you.
2. CALL YOUR SMALL CUSTOMERS
Mine your database and pull out the customers who bought from you once, or those who just buy one or two items or limited single services from you.
Are you customers small because you THINK they are?
Or are they buying other things that you sell from your competitors?
Chances are, the answer is "yes" to both questions.
3. CALL YOUR LOST SALES
Scan your database and pull out the 10-20 biggest sales you really wanted, worked hard for, but did NOT win in 2011. Call them.
But, please, do NOT say,
"I’m just calling to touch base."
Review your notes and develop a value-added reason for calling. Say something like,
"I came across some interesting information in Info Industry Journal, and remembered how you were concerned with the issue of external data security locking in a multi-user environment. I wanted to send that to you …"
Of course you would then ease into a discussion of their present situation, and perhaps uncover any possible areas of dissatisfaction.
Calls to all three of these groups are really no-brainers!
Think about it …
…you’ve already done the heavy lifting with all of these people. You’ve put in the long hours, investing time and money in proposals and calls. You know their situation. And very importantly, you’ll get to these people more easily
than you would cold prospects. You probably know their executive assistants on a first name basis.
Try this. What will it be worth when you pick up a piece of business from one or two of them?