Archive for March, 2009

Fastest Way to Get More Business

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Here we are in the first week of March already. Business is pretty much horrible in virtually every segment of the industry. I talk to dozens of decorators a week and they’re all telling me the same thing. The few printers that are busy seem to have their business focused on one or two accounts that have something going. Everyone is asking the same question: What can I do to get more business?

The fastest way to get more business is to look at your existing customer base and see if you can’t sell them more. We’ve talked about this before and it works great until you’ve gone to the well too many times. Then what?

The next best place is to resurrect customers who’ve left you for one reason or another. I don’t know why businesses are so scared of this. Perhaps they think if a customer’s left, they don’t like you. In most cases that’s simply not true.

People leave for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps your main contact in the organization left and there’s someone new there that doesn’t know you. Perhaps their needs changed and they no longer required your services. Perhaps there was some internal disturbance that caused you to fall between the cracks. Most likely, your customer simply got too busy and time slipped by. Before you know it, it’s been a couple of years since they’ve done anything.

To make matters worse, when you’re busy, you don’t seem to notice them falling off. It’s only when times get slow and you start to look back that you see how much business has gone away. This is called attrition. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get orders in, after you’ve exhausted your currently active accounts.

Get out your total customer list. If you can, sort by customer, by most recent order. You can now go down the list and find everyone who hasn’t called you in 6 months. Get on the phone and call them. Simply ask if there’s anything wrong? Tell them you’ve noticed they haven’t ordered recently and you wanted to make sure you haven’t done something to offend them.

If you have done something wrong, you’ll learn about it here and you can correct the problem. If you haven’t your customer will find themselves in the position of having to respond. You may very possibly end up with an order on the spot.

Remember, business is built on relationships. The closer you are to your customers and clients, the more business you will get. It’s when you start drifting away that you begin to lose business. Try reactivating your old accounts as I’ve described. You will be pleasantly surprised on what develops.

Even if they have no business for you at this time, take the opportunity to ask if they know anyone who they could recommend to you who could benefit from your services. If you can get 1 - 3 names from each of the people you talk to, you’ll have a great running start toward new Spring business.