One of the biggest untapped opportunities to increasing sales and profit is growing your existing accounts. Retaining and growing current customers will always be more cost effective (and easier) than acquiring new ones. These tips offer 5 strategies to help you plan your next move.
1. Keep in touch consistently.
First, you should determine how often to connect with your current customers. Every week? Every month? Second, ask yourself how you can add value to your conversation, making it more meaningful that just “I’m checking in”. Here are some ideas:
· Regularly scheduled meetings to share account data, good stories to tell, and challenges uncovered.
· Share information on topics important to them in their industry or strategic goals.
· Ask for specific feedback on working associates and upcoming needs.
2. Upsell and cross sell.
Take out a piece of paper (or open Excel) and draw a list of all of the departments within the location(s) you service. Use your ATS or CRM to mark who your contact is from each department and the date of your last job order. You don’t have a contact in Accounting? You haven’t received an order from shipping in over two years? These are your greatest opportunities to sell to.
You may have several business lines to help you service your customers. But ask yourself, do my customers know about them all? Today we are in a tight market, have you spoken to your customers about the benefits of direct hire placements vs. temporary?
Be sure to frequently search their website for current job openings. Use this trick, setup alerts on websites such as Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder to email you when a job is posted. Perhaps you already have a great candidate for a job they were planning to fill on their own.
3. Ask for feedback.
The worse kind of feedback...none! While it is never easy to say (and hear) “what can we do better”, the answer is valuable. Not only is it an opportunity to close any gaps in your service, it can help you build trust with your customer by recognizing a problem, taking ownership, and fixing the issue. If you accept to fix an issue, fix it!!
“How would you rate us on a scale on 1 – 5? How can we get to the 5?”
“How would you rate our…… (communication, response time, quality)?”
“Would you refer us to a friend or colleague?”
4. Market your best candidates.
When that superstar candidates walks into your office (or your email box) do you wait until you get a job order? Pick up the phone and call your customers with the good news. Great candidates will get picked up fast so don’t wait. Call your top customers and offer to send them the background to take review.
Many staffing companies see success sending out a weekly “hot candidate list”. A one-page document with 3 – 6 of the currently available top candidates. No names or other identifying factors – just a brief description of their experience, what they are looking for, salary, and availability.
5. Reactivate previous billing customers.
It is always a great practice to look back at your previous year’s billings and determine customers that placed orders with you in the past, but not recently. Your ATS or IT department may be able to create this report for you easily, giving you a list of hot leads to call. When you call, ask for an appointment.
Other Ideas to Show your Value
· Host events like a “lunch and learn” in your office and invite your contacts. Local speakers, many of who will work for free, can often be found on sites like SpeakerHub, Thumbtack, and the National Speakers Association.
· Create case studies to add to your marketing strategy. Case studies are simply a review of a problem you solved with a client – such as lowering turnover, decreasing time to hire, minimizing overtime spend. Other clients will gain value while learning about your services.
· Offer your expertise by hosting a workshop either at your office or at a specific client to teach hiring managers about topics such as screening, interviewing, writing job postings, improving candidate experience, hiring trends and projections.
· Reward your working associates with awards, thank you notes, dropping off bagels, etc. Your customers will notice that you care about your employees and that retention is a priority.
· Create networking opportunities for your contacts. Perhaps you have 2 Human Resource leaders that would benefit from meeting each other and sharing ideas. Setup a lunch or coffee to introduce them and facilitate the conversation.