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Never forget your old clients/customers

Met a business owner at a function last evening. The economy always seems to be the  topic for any conversation. His business is down and he had just laid off another 3 engineers this past week. Apparently the competition is getting fierce and prices are being cut by everyone  bidding.

I suggested that the bid prices are so low that the winning firms are losing money on a project , but they are making it up in volume.
(There probably is more truth to that statement that most people realize)

The discussion eventually got around to marketing and business development. I asked how many projects his firm has completed in the last ten year. The answer was hundreds.  My next question had to do with communications with past clients; I asked how frequently he communicated with his past clients and did they all use him for new projects. The answer was a short “never” and sometimes.

Past clients are always your best source of business and new business referrals. I explained that communications with past clients does not always have to be in a form of solicitation, but can pertain to new developments in the industry and the benefits they provide.

Simple things like Holiday greetings, birthday and anniversary cards are inexpensive, but thoughtful things to do. (Don’t do like my insurance agent does, he has his secretay call me and wish me a happy birthday; I am looking for a new agent) Also, a real card b eats an e-card every time.

Last but not least, include some personal items about yourself and make sure yousend something out every month. This could be via e-mail or newsletter via snail mail.

Sorry I missed several days, but I was in “lock down” in preparation for a retreat that I am helping put on in early  November.

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The low bidder is usually someone who is wondering what he left out.

Have a great day!

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