Monday, April 21, 2008

Recession Marketing Discipline Number Three:

Hold existing clients and referral sources closer: When there’s perceived scarcity, you can bet that competitors will to try to steal from your client base. And, they’ll work hard to swipe your referral relationships too. Since your best and fastest way to gain new business is to focus on those who already know you, like you and trust you, protect and maintain these relationships first and foremost. Consider that you must constantly earn the right to your clients’ business and your referral sources’ references. Before you chase new prospects, make sure you are delivering more than expected value to your current ones. Before you chase new relationships outside of your existing clients, make sure you have strengthened and broadened your relationships within your existing clients. If your contact with a client is limited to one executive you are at risk. How can you spread across the organization? If your contact with a referral source is limited to one professional at that firm, you are not sufficiently penetrated. How can you earn the right to be the preferred provider at clients and the preferred referral for other service providers? These are questions you must always ask. But, in a recession you’ve got to actually answer and act on them.

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