Are You Earning Your Repeat Business?
Once upon a time, repeat business was a given. You could predict with near absolute certainty how much work was coming your way in the next 12 months.
The new reality is that you are only as good as the last job you shipped in. Second, if you are not earning that business, not only will you lose it but you deserve to lose it.
How do you earn repeat business?
- Step one: Reverse your assumptions. Don't assume that the work is coming your way. In fact, assume that it is not and base all thinking from that standpoint.
- Step two: Think ahead. Look to 2019 and estimate when the key orders will be coming up again. Write down the dates.
- Step three: On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, give each order a number based on the confidence you have it will come your way.
- Step four: Examine each number. Be especially nervous about any order with a five or higher next to it. This means you are making what could be a deadly assumption.
- Step five: Make it a goal to present a new and different option for each repeat order. This means you will need to connect with the client, learn the story behind the printed piece, and then offer up a different solution along with a price.
Do these steps guarantee that the work will come your way? No. But they will remind the client why they buy from you (something you should also point out to them) and drastically reduce the possibility that you lose this core business out of negligence, not paying attention or false assumptions.
Final warning: While you are reading my blog, your competition is calling on your base clientele. What are they being told? Is it, "We are all set because my print vendor constantly challenges assumptions and brings me new ideas therefore earning the repeat business" or rather "You know, I've not heard from them in a long time. Sure, I can make time for you on my calendar"?
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