Archive for February 2011
Over the last few months I’ve noticed something of a trend: in the current economic climate people are less interested in forming new business relationships. Customers prefer staying with their current supplier, and try to grind out a possible better price, rather than go with a brand new supplier who advertises a lower price in the first place. I’m not sure if this is telling us something about the value of the current relationship or the risk associated with changing suppliers – perhaps a bit of both.
So if you are looking to grow your market share this makes it tough out there, doesn’t it?
At times like these I usually head back and revisit older relationships that I have. That is I make contact first with people who have used my services in the past, but haven’t recently. It’s always good to catch-up and reconnect. Of course, ‘checking-in’ with old accounts should be part of any businesses standard process. But we all know that often the urgent work can push the important work to one side.
I’ve mentioned this to a few of the companies I consult for at the moment and suggested that they take some time to reconnect with accounts that haven’t been active for a while. In all cases, after a few hours on the ‘phone they have come across new opportunities for business. And as there is already a relationship, the chance of securing that business is enhanced. So getting the appointment for a “coffee and a catch-up” is a natural next step for both sides.
Now, this is not rocket science (unless you work for NASA) and a moment’s thought for most folks and they would come to the same conclusion. But, when was the last time consciously you hit the ‘phone for a couple of hours and caught up with some old contacts?