All We Need Are More Customers – Really?
The new equipment was installed a year ago, and hopefully the sales team will get better at keeping the flow of work where we need in order to stay profitable. This wasn’t a “build it and they will come,” strategy as you already had some business that was slated for the equipment. But, the adaption rate by both the market and the sales team has not met expectations. The message to the sales team has been to get out there and get more customers.
Whether it’s the need to fill capacity on a new piece of equipment, or to grow sales in general, winning new customers can always help the cause. But don’t overlook your existing customers for a more immediate return.
You win a customer and you begin working with them, and over time, your business grows and the relationship solidifies. All good, and right out of the manual of how things should work. But what often happens is that you stop selling after the first few orders. And while perhaps you did a good job of researching the business before the relationship began, there are gaps in the current opportunity knowledge base. Who else should you be calling on and why? How else could or should they be using print to help drive their business? What services can you provide that they are not taking advantage of yet? What were the last three good ideas that you brought to the table for them? These folks already know you, and they trust you. This isn’t the hard sell game, but rather an opportunity to strategically diagnose where else you could generate revenue with this customer.
Another untapped opportunity is the business that you quoted on but did not win for this customer. What’s your win rate with your top 15-20 customers? If you could improve that by a few points, what impact would it have on your business? Determine what is standing in your way of securing that business and get it. Is it price or is it that you didn’t re-engineer the project to be both more effective for the customer, and to better fit your capabilities?
New customers are the life blood of any business and very important to the future success of the company. But, please don’t overlook the opportunities that might be right in front of you and that may just need to be approached a bit differently. Come up with a plan to find the additional opportunities in your existing accounts. Do it by harnessing the wisdom of all the folks in your company that come in contact with that customer. Brainstorm the what-if’s and come up with a 30-60-90 day plan to identify, engage, and capture that additional business. Why is this important? Because if you don’t come up with that plan, your competitors will!
Please send any comments or include them below. Good luck and keep up the great work.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEO’s in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic direction, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.