How to Grow Your Business by Looking to the Past

Small and medium-size businesses use a number of marketing tactics to increase business. Advertising, a presence on the web, and earned media are all tactics that you can use to establish your brand and grow your business.

While these tactics are part of an effective overall marketing campaign, one key source of new business is left out. Previous clients can be a rich source of new business, if they are approached in the right way.

These three simple steps can help reestablish a relationship with past customers. Worst case, by reconnecting with past clients, you can gain insight as to how others view your firm. Best case, the renewed relationship may lead to sales and a healthier relationship than in the past.

First, reach out to former customers. Do not make it a sales pitch, you are trying to reconnect and rekindle a personal relationship. By following the client’s web site or blog, you can personalize your message, lauding them for their accomplishments or offering relevant help should you sense a problem. Demonstrate that whether they buy from you or not, you are interested in seeing them be successful.

The second tactic in regaining lost customers is providing them with information, resources and tools to move their business forward. Use your prior knowledge of their operations to share articles or refer them to someone you know that can help them. Again, this is not a sales call; make your message concise and relevant to the matter at hand.

Finally, recognize that there was a reason that the customer’s business was lost. By recognizing the cause, accepting responsibility for the problem, and instituting procedures to make things right, a past client can sometimes be brought back into the fold. More often than not, customers afforded this extra attention become the most loyal customers you have, as well as becoming willing ambassadors for your brand.  Mining the inactive customer file is an often overlooked source of revenue, giving you the opportunity to earn from your mistakes.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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