I’ve Cut Costs. Now What?
The severity of the economy has put “business as usual” out of business. By now, you have probably gone through multiple iterations of cost cutting, and let go of some of your poorer performers. After you’ve trimmed expenses, how can you protect your bottom line and grow revenue? Based upon the conversations that I have been having with many fellow business owners, there are a few approaches that businesses are taking.
Find New Clients
Some business owners are on the hunt for new clients. This option, in a recessionary market, is easier said than done, because many prospects will only consider switching vendors if the new vendor can beat the price of the existing supplier. Of course, you can “out service” your competition and be at the same price. The key to successfully taking this approach is to show how the soft costs of doing business with you are less than the prospect’s current supplier. In other words, making a prospect’s life easier adds a lot of value.
Keep Current Clients
Unfortunately, too many businesses take existing clients for granted. The old advice “treat your existing clients as if they were your best prospects” has never been more appropriate. While keeping current clients is easier than finding new ones, it does take an effort; call them periodically and ask them how they are doing and how happy are they with your product or service. By the way, don’t put off calling them because you are afraid of what they might say. You will be better off hearing that they are not happy and having the time to fix things before your competition does.
Sell More to Existing Clients
Many business owners are looking for new revenue streams within their existing customer base. Of all the options, this one makes the most sense for most businesses. Because the investment in customer acquisition has already been made, it is just a matter of setting up the opportunity to discuss your other products and services with your clients. In its most basic form, this opportunity can be created by setting up a routine of contacting customers and asking them questions about their needs in the areas of your products and services.
Just as you have cut expenses, your clients have, as well. They are no doubt searching for lower-cost alternatives that provide better service. Take advantage of that fact before your competition does.