The workforce of any successful business thrives to satisfy existing customers and attract new customers. The mission of growth is behind every company initiative and effort. As business people, we have the natural desire to grow. Now that I’ve stated the obvious, let me introduce the pink elephant in the room named Common Sense. Common Sense says that while both customer retention and new customer acquisition are critical to a company’s market penetration, the focus and priority should always be with your existing customers, as they have the keen ability of serving as references and providing referrals - which shortens the sales process significantly by leveraging the trust factor.
Existing customers that are happy, will talk favorably of their vendors or service providers, and offer the best form of marketing - word of mouth. The down side is that existing unhappy customers talk too, and won’t extend those priceless references and referrals that bring new business opportunities to companies. Knowing this, the best possible approach is to invest money and resources into effectively supporting existing customer needs, which directly controls customer satisfaction levels and retention statistics. Customers that are happy with the service they receive are willing to promote your business. Not supporting existing customer needs effectively plays a hand in customer attrition. New prospects will think twice about contracting with a company that is losing customers at the same pace or higher than their new account acquisitions. New prospects will also be unimpressed if current customer satisfaction levels are low. Even more concerning is the fact that losing an existing customer has a greater financial impact than losing a prospect customer to a competitor, as when an existing customer walks away; they also take their references and referrals.
Far too often we see organizations engaging the Used Unicorn Sale’s Man approach, spending astonishing amounts of money and time in their efforts of closing deals with prospects that may not even be interested in purchasing the sparkling unicorns they are trying to sell; however, the sales strategy of wining and dining to get the business still continues without shame. Wouldn’t that money be more efficiently utilized in effective marketing efforts like trade shows that provide existing customers and their business associates the environment to rub elbows and keep up with the latest market trends? These forums showcase new product offerings for companies, and capture interest levels of not only existing customers, but new prospect customers as well. In this scenario, the prospects are coming to the company’s door step, which decreases the need to engage in the expensive Used Unicorn Sale’s Man approach.
A successful business runs efficient marketing campaigns that gets the business name out there, and creates a brand in the marketplace, which in turn helps stabilize a company’s market presence. Effective marketing allows interested prospects to find sales rather than thrusting an organization in the scenario of selling fully stocked meat freezers to a vegetarian market (another Used Unicorn Sale’s Man approach). By no means does Common Sense suggest that companies ignore new opportunities that exist with prospects. He feels companies should shift their priority to making sure existing customers are happy to further support the business growth of new prospects. This process transitions the traditional vendor-to-client relationship to business partners, and those relationships are more inclined to generate leads that would otherwise not be possible. The saying has always been that businesses work for their customers, but great companies that entertain Common Sense have managed to figure out how to make customers work for them.