Your competitors are targeting your key customers –
Your existing customers are giving your company revenue each month. If the revenue is profitable, you obviously need to keep such customers for as long as possible. Investing in monthly face-to-face meetings with your largest and most profitable customers is the best investment your company can make.
Farming extra business and revenue from existing customers is quicker and less costly than hunting for new customers. Penetrating other business units, or even divisions, of your existing customers can generate considerable extra revenue.
Always keep up to date with each major customer’s current situation. Cover matters such as changes in their market, their products and their customers. Find out –
- What their latest plans and goals are.
- What their key performance indicators are.
- What new problems may be holding them back.
- Whether they’re facing a merger or takeover.
- Whether they’re using a competitor’s service or product as well as yours – or worse, instead of yours – or at least thinking of doing so.
You need to be certain how your customers see you and your company. Is it as a specialist high level advisor, or merely as a commodity “me too” provider? Your customers need to have the same perception of you as you have of them. It’s essential to be on the same page.
Make sure you place all the contact names of each customer in order of seniority. Then mark each name that has the best relationship with your company. It’s also important to have coaches or mobilisers in your customers who have authority, influence and the willingness to support you with advice and guidance.
Ideally, you should have specialist “farmers”, often called Key Account Managers (KAMs), who should know how each of your customer’s business is structured. KAMs also need to know –
- What parts of a customer’s business has used which of your products or services.
- What revenue and gross profit has been earned from each piece of business.
- What it’s cost your company to provide your products or services.
- What value the customer has gained from each product or service.
- Whether your services or products have addressed the customer’s problems.
- Your sales targets for each part of each customer.
If the worst happens, and your customer stops using your company without saying anything, make sure you have targets in place to monitor products or services that have been reduced or terminated by them. Put together an action plan for the customer and review it each quarter. This should be regularly updated.
How closely are you monitoring your key customers?