Why Existing Customers Are Better Than New Ones

repeat

Your existing customers stay in your heart as cherished, beloved people, right? After all, winning new business is hard, to say the least, but, repeat customers are statistically much easier to gain sales from.

Well, let us stop short of saying that earning repeat business from existing customers is a walk in the park. The prospect of winning a repeat project from an existing customer presents a few unique challenges. Do not feel discouraged, though; repeat customers keep businesses in business. Drawing on your experience with a customer, you can build and keep up a relationship that is rewarding for everyone involved.

Let’s look at what it takes to win repeat customers with well-informed and all-around awesome proposals.

Your existing customers are valuableAwesome customer evaluation form

Studies have shown that existing customers are substantially less expensive to convert than new customers. Think about it — it takes a huge effort from many people to gain one new client. The money spent by soliciting a new client is astronomical — from conception and planning to researching and writing, the first proposal is all a guessing game — and it’s taxing on time, energy and even money.

In contrast, existing customers cost far less to persuade to buy something. Often, it only takes a well-timed, informative proposal to remind your customer of just how reliably awesome you are, spurring them to award the bid to you, once again.

Celebrate the success

If your first project with a given customer went smoothly, make on note of it in future proposals. Do not be afraid to capitalize on your past successes with a customer. In many cases, they simply forget the particulars of a given project. Remind them that you were a part of an earlier success, and they will be more likely to envision you as part of a future project as a result.

Review the customer’s profile in your CRM database. If the feedback — always remember to follow up! — you received from the first project with them was good, you can use their quotes to support your future proposals. Happy customers sometimes need only a reminder of the excellent results they have benefited from by doing business with your organization.

Stay in the game

Often, organizations have a tendency to focus solely on acquiring new business. This is a fundamental mistake. Your existing customers are keenly aware of the work you do, making it easier to extol the benefits of awarding another bid to your organization.

You may wonder how you can keep in contact with those existing customers. Well, if you are not engaged in modern CRM tactics like email newsletters, you are ever so slightly behind the times. Every customer that has agreed to do business with you should be entered into your customer database. It is up to you to make good use of that database.

You can work toward keeping in contact with existing customers with newsletters and periodic courtesy calls to the client. If your management approach incorporates the use of an account manager for each client, you can ask that person to hold a follow-up call with existing clients periodically, just to keep your business on the client’s peripheral.

The power of email

If your business engages in digital marketing, you doubtlessly understand the power of email communication. This logic applies to your proposals, too.

Email marketing is important when it comes to earning repeat customers. The truth is, email marketing is extremely effective for all sorts of businesses. Customers who have no intention of doing business with your company will definitely unsubscribe from your newsletter. So, companies who actively receive your emails are leaving the door open to doing business with you again. If they do some sort of action as a result of receiving the email, like clicking on a link, this is a further indication of their interest. Recognition of these things is an essential step toward enjoying repeat business.

However, you don’t want to send the emails willy-nilly; the emails must provide an added value. There are a few important factors to consider when sending newsletters:

  • Let your customers know what the purpose of your email is. Don’t be overly advertorial here. Celebrate continuing successes, and remind them of why they did business with you to begin with.

  • Thank them, profusely and repeatedly. If a holiday is coming up, send a kind and gracious message of thanks to your existing customers. It costs you next to nothing to compose an email, so a periodic “thank you” is a modest cost with a potentially high return-on-investment.

  • Use email segmentation to target your existing customers specifically. Even if you are not openly inviting them to take a buying action, you are reminding them of the experience they had with your company in the past.

  • Keep it simple. A clear, action-oriented title and pointed, relevant content are musts. But, do not just try to sell them; try to stay connected with your existing customers, as a priority.

  • Include tips that show your existing customers that you support them and want to help them move their own business forward.

Email is an ongoing line of communication with your prior and exisiting customers. If you fail to engage with them via newsletters, someone else will. So make certain you are using email effectively to keep your company on your customers’ radar!

Deliver – again and again!

The chance to win a customer a second time is the chance to win one again and again. On every occasion where you successfully deliver a rewarding project to your client, you earn street cred — and thus, repeat business. Business builds upon itself. Once you have won and delivered one bid, the next is more routine, and the next even more so, until, finally, winning bids and delivering awesomeness is second nature. The best advice we have is to grab each opportunity to serve a customer and run with it, taking whatever steps needed to bring your customers total satisfaction.

Earning a repeat customer builds confidence within your organization. Celebrate each chance to do so, and watch as your business grows!

Are your proposals helping you build an empire, one satisfied customer at a time?

Photo from Fotolia!

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About

Todd Spear is a freelance blogger and journalist. He's helped media outlets and brands alike connect with their audiences. He's a regular contributor to Anthill Online, the Quote Roller Blog, and Naluda Magazine, among many other sites. You can connect with Todd via his website www.toddspear.net

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