Why Are Existing Customers Your Best Place to Get New Business in 2012?

Break out the Rolodex, as we kick off each year we often forget about our greatest and most affordable marketing opportunities – existing customers. As we start 2012, focus on your customers first for two reasons:

  1. Statistically, professional services firms may lose up to 20% of their clients each year. This attrition alone means that you need to retain more clients and replace what you lose before you ever consider a growth plan.
  2. Existing customers are the most affordable to reach. A common problem is that clients always view your offerings based on the services that you provided them when they hired you.  A regular marketing program to existing customers can expose clients to the leadership that you offer other clients and allow opportunities to cross-sell additional services that they may not currently lean to you for. A basic CRM program, email marketing and social media are three great ways to do this.

With some signs of economic recovery, it is important that your customers understand the full breadth of your services and that they see the wins that you provide your other clients on a regular basis.  This way, when they decide to come out of their shell and increase their marketing investments you are the first ones that they call.

What are the best strategies that you have found for retaining existing customers?


One comment

  1. Jami, great post. You hit the nail on the head. Marketing to existing customers is the best yet most underutilized strategy among small business owners.

    Existing customers presumably know you and trust you, plus they know other people with similar demographic and psychographic profiles. If you want to find ideal customers, small business owners should tap into the networks of their existing customers. Also, having a pre-sale and post-sale marketing system makes all this much easier and that’s why the CRM is so critical.

    I would also add that the best thing you can do is to turn satisfied customers into goodwill ambassadors for your company or brand. The way to do this is to syphon dollars away from “drive-by” or “shot-gun” approach advertising tactics and put them into rewards or referral programs. Not only do you keep customers happy and buying, you also get a great shot at attracting the right kinds of customers for your business!

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