Was working with a client yesterday when his business partner came back after being out all day. Let’s call him John.
While his partner was out of the office for a few minutes, I started chatting to John about his day.
He came back to the office with €30,000 worth of orders. Not a bad day’s work.
Our conversation went something like this.
Me “How did you get those orders?”
John “I know these clients well, so I called to the site and met the manager for a coffee”.
Me “They didn’t contact you or say they had a job”.
John “No – it was on spec. but after the coffee we walked around the site and one of the foremen stopped me and told me they have a job for me. And a few minutes later, the quality manager asked me to price something.
As I walked around the site, I spotted a few areas where work was needed so I spoke to the section head, who told me to quote for the work.”
Me “How often do you go on site like this?”
John “Not often enough. Maybe once a month and I always come back with orders.”
Me “You must have about 20 similar size clients, haven’t you? How much business would you get if you spent one day per week calling to clients?”
John “Loads more.”
Me “It’s great you get all this work but I’m curious – why does it happen like that?”
John “Two things – out of sight is out of mind plus when I walk around the site, I can see things that need to be sorted.
I’ve had similar conversations with so many clients over the years. We can put lots of time and effort into chasing new clients and new things, when there are loads of extra sales right under our nose.
Putting time and effort into talking to and meeting our existing clients always pays off with extra work. That is my own experience too.
And even better when we target our 80:20 most profitable clients.
Even if you can’t call on site like this, what could you do in the next week to make contact with existing or past clients?
Make a phone call and arrange to visit them or meet up for a coffee?
Send them a ‘Thank you’ card and follow up with a phone call/visit.
I can almost guarantee that if you contact 5 clients in the next week, you will get extra sales from it.
What’s your excuse for not doing it?
You must NEVER be too busy for this type of activity.
So why not pick up your diary right now and block off half a day next week to contact/meet your customers.