When we, at York Consulting, cold-call for our clients, we discover a lot about their markets. When we call our clients’ customers to revive dormant accounts or introduce something new, we often uncover significant opportunities or valuable customers that have gone dormant due to inattention.
While we are baffled that our clients knew nothing about these situations and opportunities, we also know that there is a limit to anyone’s time and resources. BTW, it’s happened to us too.
So here is a system for making the most of available time and resources. Put your customers and prospects into categories of increased potential, and don’t waste time on those with little or no potential.
M – Maintain
O – Obtain
R – Revive
E – Enlarge
You probably have good, regular customers that you want to keep. These are worth spending time with. You may also have smaller customers, who will only ever buy once in a while, customers whose payments are often overdue, customers that are unreasonably demanding.
Your and your staff’s time is limited, so in order to achieve the best results from a “maintain” effort, you would want to look at your customer base and divide them into groups, depending on the effort these are to you.
M-1. Would receive regular in-person contact, lunches, monthly or quarterly reviews, etc., in addition to on-going customer communication and media.
M-2. May receive less frequent visits but phone calls, and emails on a regular basis.
M-3. Occasional but scheduled phone calls and email, etc.
M-4. You wouldn’t cry to see them go.
BTW, you don’t always need 4 categories, it could be two to five, depending on what you need.
You decide which customers are in each group and what type of contact each group receives. By identifying who is important to you, and exactly what each group needs, you become more efficient.
This is where you want to grow your business by obtaining new customers. There are many ways to do this. You can use many methods for contacting potential new customers, such as mailings, email, running ads, social media, cold calling, etc. Again, you would put companies into groups such as:
O-1. Looking at larger companies, say billion dollar businesses, which you haven’t gone after before. These companies will definitely need a plan, and time to realize success. It may take two or three years before they give you any business. But once they do become customers, they can be a big part of your growth.
O-2. Further infiltration into a current category of businesses in which you have been successful and you want to try and dominate that category, or at least be a bigger part of it.
O-3. Planning to penetrate a new category of customers, such as going after government business, if you are strictly doing all private sector now, or vice-versa.
O-4. Looking at different geographies to grow, perhaps out of state, or even International business.
Putting together a plan and researching how you are going to grow your business with new customers is crucial. You can make a short list, including category, executives, lines of business they have, how they fit with your business goals, etc. This makes it easier to focus, and to understand exactly how you can penetrate these accounts.
There are many business categories you could go after for new business. We have found it is easier to start with what you know first, such as companies in the same geography, or categories you already serve, and then expand into different areas as you require.
This means going after old customers that you believe could become customers again. Perhaps they left because of lack of contact, or they perceived you weren’t servicing them well enough. Again, this group needs its own categories, past sales volume or other reasons:
R-1. Maybe they have changed the way they do business now, because of a management change, a merger or acquisition, growth, etc. Check and see why they left, give them a call, and at first just ask how they’re doing, and ensure you let them know how much you miss them.
R-2. They stopped buying due to lack of contact.
R-3. Perhaps there was a conflict they had at that time, and you can see if that conflict has been resolved.
R-4. They may be customers you decided weren’t profitable, and you decide they are not worth reviving.
There are many reasons a customer leaves. But because they were customers before, there is a very good chance you could get them back, simply by contacting them, and discussing the reason they left, and show them how you resolved those issues within your company.
You probably have current customers where you see a lot of growth potential, and you want to find different ways to grow them, by offering more of what you deliver, and possibly other products and services too. You want to make them a strategic account.
E-1. These are customers that have a lot of potential for increased business. They could be using more of your product line. They have other departments or divisions that could use your services. They could become strategic accounts.
E-2. They have potential for increased business but they are single location companies with no other relevant departments of divisions.
E-3. Somewhat smaller customers that could be buying more but you have never asked them.
You will have to make a decision on the following items, before you decide whether they are worth the effort.
How we can help.
You may also have different sizes of customers, customers in different geographies, customers that sell different products and services, public sector vs private sector accounts, etc.
All of these categories present different challenges in maintaining, obtaining, reviving and expanding.
We find that the top subgroups (M-1, O-1, R-1, E-1) usually have a small number of companies. The nature and level of personal contact means that these are best handled by your best sales people, and your executives.
There are usually more companies in the second and third sub-groups. Our clients find that the volumes of contacting many customers and prospects, can be too difficult to overcome at this point in their growth.
This may be true for your business too. And this is where we can help.
If you aren’t getting the results you want for growing your current customers, getting new customers, and also reviving old customers, but still want the results of better prospecting, let us do M-O-R-E for you. We can help you Maintain, Obtain, Revive and Enlarge your customer and prospect base.
Lead generation, appointment setting, customer outreach, revival and expansion is our business, and we’ve been at it for over 20 years.
Contact us today and we will get back to you ASAP, to discuss your needs and how we might help you.
There is no charge for this, and most companies learn a lot, just by talking to us.
So, don’t wait. ACT NOW
Send us an email at email@example.com or, to go directly to our contact page, click here: yorkc.com/contact/
M-O-R-E is adapted from the Sandler customer care method.