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Here’s an alternative to finding new printing clients

If you’re selling, there can be a huge focus on new clients

The truth is new clients are hard work to win. Some people have a proven system for attracting new business. But many people are likely to be spending a lot of time trying to contact lots and lots of new prospects, just to win one new client. The trouble is that many buyers these days don’t want to move to a new supplier. Even if they are prepared to move, there are plenty of competitors who are also trying to win that customer.

But while so many people spend so much time in this pursuit of new business, they are also ignoring some very profitable opportunities. Many printing companies are overlooking some pretty easy revenue opportunities.

We rarely make enough of our current client base

So many times, when I work with printing companies, I find that they could do an awful lot more to raise revenues from people they know already. According to Invescpro it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. But we could be doing so much more than just customer retention.

Here are four ways in which we can extract the maximum revenue from our existing customers.

Successful sales doesn’t have to mean new clients: find out why

1. Offer customers upsells

How often do you suggest a more expensive, or more profitable, alternative to a customer? Generally, printing companies suggest little more than run-ons. Simply asking the question “Why” can create a very profitable conversation.

One printing company asked a customer why they were ordering more brochures. It turned out they were going to an exhibition. In less than five minutes they had also sold the customer half a dozen new roller banners. It was a very easy upsell!

Here’s another question we should ask our customers.

2. Ask what else your customers want

Next time you are talking to a client, ask them if there was anything else that they wished you offered. Tell them it doesn’t have to be restricted to print. They can ask for anything.

When you ask this question, one frequent result is that a customer asks for something that you already offer. They just weren’t aware that you provided it! If you do not provide it, you now have some ideas for new products and services that you can launch. They may be things that you can produce in-house. Or you may have an opportunity to partner with someone and expand your range of products and services.

Here’s one last thing you should ask clients.

3. Ask your customers for referrals

93% of customers are happy to refer someone to you. But only 11% of sales people actually ask for referrals. (Source: Dale Carnegie). Networking with current customers can be an excellent way to win new business. You don’t have to go through the pain of the normal sales process. You also typically attract clients that spend more and stay with you for longer.

It is worth implementing a full referral programme at your company. The results are likely to be very worthwhile.

There is one last thing that you should do with your existing clients.

4. Contact your customers more regularly

The biggest reason for losing a current customer is not that they were lured away by a competitor. According to Google, 68% of customers who leave a supplier do so because of because of indifference. The customers think that the supplier just doesn’t care.

When was the last time you contacted the majority of your customers? Many of us just wait for the customer to contact us with an order. But this attitude means that they are much more likely to contact a competitor instead. It is worth finding time to reach out to a many customers as possible.

Of course, many people like all these ideas but see one big problem with them.

Where does one find the time to do all this?

It is a fairly easy task to set aside just four hours a week for sales activity. I wrote about this here . Sales activity doesn’t have to mean prospecting for new business. It can mean making the most of you current customer base.

Ideally you will set up a programme for each of these activities. The best way to do this is to create a 12-week sales project. This means that you will set yourself some activity targets and measure both your activity and the results from the activity. You can find out more about 12-week sales projects in my new book “How To Succeed At Print Sales”.

Make sure you get the right results from your customer base

Implement a plan for just one of these strategies today. All of these ideas are simple to put into practice. And they will make a much bigger difference to your sales results than trying to find new customers.
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