When manufacturing companies want to increase their profits, their first instinct is often to reach out to businesses they've never spoken to before. However, they forget that they're sitting on a potential goldmine: their customer database.
I'm going to show you why it's crucial to talk to existing customers, former customers, and seemingly "lost" leads, if you want your manufacturing business to thrive.
Cutting The Cost of Doing Business – Keeping Your Clients On Board
You've probably heard the adage that it costs five times more to bring a new customer on board than it does to keep an existing customer. While the actual figure has been debated, nurturing your current customers will certainly have a positive impact on your bottom line. Talking to – and listening to – your customers will help you sustain your relationships with them, increasing the likelihood that they'll stay loyal. They'll also be more likely to buy additional or upgraded products or services from your company. Treat them as potential buyers, as well as existing customers, and you'll be on the road to success.
Expanding Your Customer Base – Reconnecting with Lost Leads And Customers
Like many SMEs, you probably have a database (or even filing cabinets) filled with details of former customers and leads. Imagine how healthy your business would be if you could persuade even a fraction of these businesses to become customers again? You already know they're looking for the type of product or service that you sell and are aware of your brand. What's more, you hold "privileged information" about them – i.e. details that can't be gained from purchased lists of leads. That could help you to get through to the right person straight away, identify suitable products and services for them, or work out when and how to approach them to maximise your chances of sealing the deal. Therefore, you should be treating your database as a valuable source of qualified leads, rather than an old contact list.
Not All Customers Are Equal - Why Refining Your Customer Base Is A Must
Before you start contacting everyone in your database, however, take a step back. Work out exactly what type of customers you want. There's no point in spending time, energy, and money trying to sell your products and services to prospects that will be more hassle to deal with than they're worth – after all, ex-customers are sometimes ‘ex’ for a reason, and it isn’t always due to a fault on your part.
I always advise my clients to think about their favourite customers – the ones that make them think "I wish all of our customers were like them" – and try to work out what sets these firms apart from the rest. By reaching out to similar companies, you can create a high-quality customer list.
Find Out More
You can learn more about how to – and how not to – market your manufacturing company effectively in my free e-book, "The 7 Classic Marketing Mistakes Made By Manufacturers & How To Avoid Them!" Download your copy now.
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