Getting things right from the word ‘Go’
The way you win and retain new business should be based in pride, says Phil Morgan, CEO SPS
We’re all aware of the statistic that retaining an existing customer costs about 10% of the amount it takes to secure a new customer, so there’s a lot to be said for building loyalty. But in a competitive market such as ours, if you want to grow your business you also need to take steps to reach out to new audiences.
So what can you do to increase the likelihood of securing new business with new partners? Obviously, it all comes down to the approach you take with your marketing, sales strategy, customer service, product range, and so on. As a bpma member, you’re already a serious professional in this industry and know this. Instead, I want to share some ideas on how important those early days are in your business relationship.
Wooing new business
Any new relationship is all about what you need to put in at the start, to generate the result you’re looking for. It’s almost like the business equivalent of wining, dining, flowers and gifts to secure those important early dates. And in this scenario, the object of your desires (the prospect), is likely to be courted by more than one supplier at a time – so how will you stand out?
How welcome does your customer feel? When you speak to a new customer, is it a hassle explaining how things work? Or do you welcome them into your world and make them feel valued?
How do you explain your products to your new contacts? Do you send weblinks, or have you considered a welcome pack? We often use this idea with new SPS customers and send a pack of all our bestselling lines, a few catalogues and some sweets to enjoy while they browse the range.
How do you set out your stall? How do you communicate who you are, what you do and why you should be selected? Are you reliant on people seeking out the information on your website, or could you produce a welcome leaflet to include with your welcome pack?
It’s not just new customers that you need to think about when you’re growing, or even maintaining your business. What is your strategy for welcoming new recruits? Your biggest challenge with new starters is helping them to understand your company’s vision and then becoming an integral part of that.
We’ve recently introduced a new initiative at SPS, entitled ‘Pride, Quality, Engagement’. The idea behind this is that we want to see this in action throughout our business: pride within a role, quality in everything we do, and engagement with our colleagues, products and customers. How have we communicated this initiative? Promotional products of course! Every member of our team has a selection of items carrying these three simple words, so that we can put them at the heart of everything we do.
Since we’re based in Blackpool, it would be wrong for me to miss the obvious link to a stick of rock. When you snap a piece of Blackpool rock, the Blackpool word runs right through it, end-to-end. Since your team is one of the most powerful assets you have for growing your business, I would encourage you to do all you can to share your business vision, passions and plans at every opportunity. A happy vision-led team leads to happy customers and great business relationships.