Pearl diver of new customer acquisition
About a hundred years ago, there were still pearl divers who did nothing but collect clams all day long, hoping that there would be a pearl in them. This activity was very tedious and dangerous.
Until, by accident, somebody pushed a grain of sand into a slightly open shell, closed the shell, and gave her enough time. The result: a pearl grew out of it. These were the end of pearl diving and the beginning of pearl cultivation.
How to free the sales success from chance
What does this have to do with sales? Well, diligence is a basic virtue in sales, but also in the economy systematics can be implemented, as in the Perlenzucht. Many people in sales define their success according to the formula: growth = new customers.
That's true for many industries. But not for everyone! Who sells prefabricated houses to the owner, can only grow with new customers. There are industries that usually only conclude "one-time deals". For these providers, new customer acquisition is the basis of growth. But for most industries, the case is different:
Systematic shortcut to success in sales
The basis is the formula 1 - 3 -> 7. It costs you 1 factor of time, effort and money to hold a repeat customer, to bond with them and to realize their potential. At least seven times it costs you to acquire a new customer.
Even if you gain new customers through active and passive referral marketing, it still remains at least factor 7. In between, there are two other customer segments: on the one hand the departed or lost customers and on the other the slumbering customers or sleepers.
Use the potential of existing customers
It costs you factor 3 to maximize the potential of a customer for whom you are a "subcontractor". The customer knows you. There is already a "supplier connection". He has trusted you before. But with most of his needs, he satisfies with another partner.
Now it is much easier to activate such a snooze customer than to acquire a completely "cold" contact. Find the conversation and clarify the conditions under which the client is ready to do more with you. Often the customer does not even know that you could offer some products because you have not communicated your performance in most cases.
A study of the German post office showed that Company in Germany across industries, between 24 and 27 lose% of their customers annually. The customer recovery is also in the area factor 3. Even if that is emotionally incomprehensible to most sellers.
The majority believe that convincing a "virgin" new customer is easier than shoveling "scorched earth" away from an ex-customer. But that is a mistake in thinking: Even the former customer once trusted you. Otherwise you would never have done business with him. Now something "intervened", which keeps him from continuing to make sales with you.
3 reasons for losing customers
There are three reasons for the loss of customers:
- The customer dies or the company closes. Recovery does not make sense here.
- The competition has "wooed" your customers.
- You angered the customer, and he decided not to buy from you anymore.
Search contact to the customer
At points 2. and 3. It makes sense to seek direct contact with the customer - immediately and ideally by phone or in person. Please do not write letters! Clarify what the problem is, solve it and define under what conditions the customer is ready to work with you again. An empirical value: the faster you register to break off the relationship and the faster you respond, the higher your recovery rate.
If you are only looking for contact with the customer after months, then he is often no longer willing to change. Then he got used to the processes and processes of the new partner. As a manager you should have a special focus on sales cancellations. Many salespeople simply "dare" not to seek the conversation and to save the situation again. Studies have shown that 95% of the customers you can reactivate later become very loyal repeat customers and are almost resistant to theft attempts.
Up- and cross-selling
But factor 3 is secondary. First, it's about factor 1, customer loyalty and the potential exploitation of existing customers. Let us observe this with an example: you sell insurance. How many insurance companies does your customer have? How many of them? Which ones are missing or make sense from your point of view? Analyze the overall potential of your customers and unlock the potential:
- Upselling, ie longer terms and / or higher sums insured under existing contracts.
- Cross-selling means supplementary products. In the sense of "customers who bought A, they were also interested in B, C and D." Your claim should be that you can cover at least 80% of the customer potential with your offer. Why only 80% and not the full potential?
Well, if you get all the potential from the customer by yourself, because he wants to focus on you, then: Congratulations! But often the effort to push the last one from the race out of the race is in no relation to the yield. Some customers just do not want to put everything on a map.
Do you really know the potential of your customers?
Incidentally, my personal experience is that very few sales people know the real potential of their customers. I speak of "knowing" - not "suspecting". But without the exact "know", a real potential exploitation is not possible. Create a checklist around the determination of potential and work with your customers. So you can be sure to have addressed all topics and products really.
So if you are already in your market for some time and have a certain customer base, then an intelligent market development according to the formula 1 - 3 -> 7 is your systematic shortcut to success!
- Know and raise the potential of your regular customers.
- Reactivate your ex-customers in a timely manner.
- Win the potential of your snooze customers.
- And only the fourth step is the acquisition of new customers!
When acquiring new customers, it always depends on the right method. Methods are customer approaches such as telephone acquisition, mailing, search engine marketing, referral marketing active and passive and many more options. But beware Professor Vienna-based Pinczolits has determined that the "wrong" method can cost as much as 20.
Henry Ford is credited with saying, "Half the cost of advertising is wasted money. Unfortunately, we do not know which half. "Similarly, it is in the acquisition of new customers: It is worthwhile for you to question even critically which acquisition channel really leads to new customers and corresponding sales. A systematic sales controlling really makes sense here.
The formula 1 - 3 -> 7 may also mean for you that you may not be starting any activity or investment in attracting new customers over the next two to three years. And then you do not have to have a bad conscience. With the factors 1. and 3. you have fast successes, with lower costs and no acquisition frustration.
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