Should I focus on nurturing existing customers or acquiring new ones?
I know I need to spend time on both, but with a small team is it better to spend more time trying to nurture and upsell existing customers or acquire new ones? I do send out periodic newsletters to existing customers, but I have not gone to the next level of really tailoring our communications. This would take time and I have been spending a lot of time going to trade shows and trying to sell to new customers. Thanks for any feedback.
Carrie - You should be doing both. You're building a relationship with your current client base, these folks sustain your existence. But you need to acquire new ones if you want to grow your business. Tradeshows are the best way to get yourself out there. They can be costly though.
A question: when you are talking about your client are you referring to direct customers or business partners who retail your goods. If you are referring to end customers, you have a relatively limited market for additional sales.
For business customers/retailers you have a small problem in the fact that small retailers will unlikely refer you to their own competition. I would do a detailed statistics of specific areas you are currently selling to and see performance of current retailers and depending on the market situation (population, market segmentation, laptop sales) try to focus on specific areas to find additional retailers.
Because, even though it is usually easier to push sales to existing customer base (who know the product and the quality) sometimes it is counter productive to push retailers to sell more if it is shown that they are not capable of doing that. Sometimes you just deal with wrong partners.
Good statistics and data analysis should point you to the right way.
I am new to this site,
Before reading anyone else's response my answer was asking for referrals from current satisfied clients. It really is the best and most overlooked strategy to growing a sound business.
Then I read the responses. This group is full of smart and helpful people. Glad to me apart of it.
Trying out new customers while servicing the existing will certainly give a creative / innovative outlook that will also have some impact while serving the existing customers.
Innovation and exploring new will make your business going.. You need to manage your time.. Keep 20% (minimum) of your time towards new clients and make sure your existing clients do not get ignored.
Hello Carrie! The wonderful thing about your question is that you can do both at the same time. If your company was branded on the internet in the correct way, your current & past customers would be engaged every week with your business and new customers would be finding you on a daily basis!
If you would like to learn more about all this, reach out to me at (713) 873-1174
The answer is both, but you need to understand the customs of your industry.
Additionally, I believe you have to define who is your customer you are referring to and your sales strategy? Is it the end consumer, the distributor/wholesaler, the retailer or all of them? Each is going to require a different methodology.
In your industry it is extremely rare that a designer/manufacturer, like yourself, sells directly to the retailer, typically there is some wholesaler/distributor that handles this. They (singular or multiple based on territory) are the one(s) responsible to find retailers to sell your product and service them.
Your responsibility is to that wholesaler/distributor. It's also your responsibility as the designer/manufacturer to do the appropriate marketing (advertising (digital and traditional), public relations, social media, appearances, direct marketing, etc.) to generate AIDA (awareness, interest, desire and action) for your products — action being visiting your website or their local retailer.
Since your sales/distribution strategy appears to include direct sales to the consumer, then your responsibility includes ensuring the consumer can find your website. A quick review of your site's content and code shows you're not doing everything you can to set yourself up to be found and to build trust.
You're missing keywords and page descriptions, which are critical to your Internet visibility and success. You have no links to your retailers websites and of the half dozen retailers websites I looked at they have no reference of your brand or any backlinks to your website. Items needed to increase visibility.
You're also missing critical content (terms & conditions, warranty, return and privacy policies along with news/media center, about us/designer, product information) to build trust and drive action.
You ask visitors to "Join" but what are they joining? What should they expect to receive when they join? Is there a loyalty program, do they get special discounts, first looks at new designs, etc.?
Speaking of loyalty programs, how do you know who is buying your product at your retailers? Are you driving them to your website to register their item purchased? I don't see anything. Are you driving them to your Facebook page to post a photo of the person with your product?
Speaking of discounts, are you utilizing social commerce plugins, like AddShoppers, to entice visitors to like, post, tweet, pin, etc. in return for a discount on their purchase? It doesn't look like it.
Do you have an abandoned cart plan to entice and capture those who left your site without purchasing the product(s) they put in their cart?
Right now I'd have to presume you have a high customer acquisition cost, therefore you have to do everything you can to maximize efficiency of your marketing investment while minimizing customer acquisition costs.
This is something that small business owners toil with over and over and my best answer would be this, it has to be a delicate balance of the two.
New sales, at least in my industry are much more profitable that monthly revenue from past sales. In many industries, there is no ongoing profit at all. However, one of the best ways to sell NEW clients is testimonials and praise from PREVIOUS clients. See where I am headed with this?
I would suggest fine tuning an email marketing list and send bi-montly emails out to old clients just to remind them of who you are or changes in your industry as a minimum. Also, if applicable, start gather testimonials and reviews ONLINE about your business to foster NEW sales.
Nurture the Clients you want to keep, break ties with the ones you don't, & grow your client based by Profiling Your Favorite Clients!
Most important, keep & find clients that are of your Vibrational Match - those that feed your Life's Purpose!
Cheers to Living Your Bliss,
Ask yourself what repeat business you can reasonably expect to receive from individuals who have already purchased one of your covers. Realistically it is quite limited, therefore it is imperative that you leverage your existing customers when seeking out new ones. To this end you should mount a referral reward programme for both existing and new customers, and then you can simplify your marketing focus to effectively target both new and repeat business simultaneously.
Both! Although studies have shown client retention generates more revenue then acquisition. It costs a lot to gain new clients vs. keeping/building upon existing ones.