Fruit of Success, Could Be Located In Your Backyard
We have all heard the statistic before, it cost 50 times more to get a new client than it does to keep an existing one. Yet, despite knowing this, we all regularly behave as if we never knew this researched and scientifically proven fact ever existing. You know what I am speaking about. As many of you are realizing after last quarter, new business is slightly harder to come by than in the recent past. If we are fully aware of the statistic mentioned earlier, then how come when sales are down our first reaction is to run into the streets and start pounding on doors? Isn’t that the complete opposite reaction to our educated mindset? Well actually such a reaction is understandable, because the behavior is stimulated by the emotional versus the practical. But a tough economy is not the time for the emotional. To be successful, we need to work smarter versus harder.

One the biggest blessings of a robust economy, beyond the obvious financial gains, is the intrinsic exposure to a greater client base. Now that the market is quieter doesn’t mean that the opportunities are not there, it just means they are hiding. When the market is robust, Clients spread their opportunities to new suppliers in their efforts to fill their vacancies as efficiently as possible. When the market goes cold, those same clients still have openings, they just migrate back to the suppliers they have always known. There, in the details, lies the rub. The hardest part of gaining a new client is gaining their attention and confidence. By the mere market environment of the past three years, they have been exposed to you. Now the big question, what are doing with them? More importantly, do you even know who they are? Recently, I had a client of Bassman Growth Advisory Partners pull all the clients they have made a placement with in the past two years. The total number was a staggering 200 clients among 14 recruiters. Even better, they were only regularly working with 78 of those clients. That meant there were 122 clients who knew about the firm and previously worked with the firm, but yet no real relationship was established. Instead of blindly pounding the pavement, I instructed the firm to focus on reengaging with those 122 clients. With 25 years of experience, I have learned that by focusing of those past clients and using some best practices to reengage, you can expect at least a 50% favorable result.

For the BGAP client I referenced, the result in two and half weeks of applying this strategy has been an immediate surge of job orders, lifting the total active opportunities by more that 18%. Now if half of them close, that is an immediate gain of 9% in sales. The 122 clients are low hanging fruit that just need to be picked. Beyond providing immediate sales growth, it also is saving them from expending 450 times the cost in effort and expense to net the same outcome.

Across the board, all firms are reporting tougher years. The key to developing growth during tough times is to start by gardening in your own backyard. Do your own audit, and then develop a strategy with your office leaders or with an executive coach to reengage with those “low-hanging fruit” clients. It could mean the difference between growth and reduction.