Want to grow your business?

Lapsed customers could be a good place to start…..

When we think of the term ‘business development’, we tend to think of seeking out and winning new business. Yet so often, in the pursuit of new clients, it’s all too easy to forget an altogether easier category of prospects – lapsed customers.

After all, these are people who have already bought into your business in the past so in theory, have the potential to buy again should the right opportunity be presented to them.

Here are three stages to getting back in touch with, and hopefully winning back the business, of lapsed customers.

Build a list

The first place to start when targeting lapsed clients is to create a list and try to break it down into categories. If you have a CRM system, you should easily be able to build a list of inactive clients to work from. If you don’t your accounting software might be a good place to start – simply look back over old invoices and extract the companies you no longer deal with. The next step is to try and segment the data into those that you think might come back and those that most probably won’t. Obviously if the relationship came to a sour end, even the best business development manager will be unlikely to be able to win the business back.  After this process, you should be left with a healthy list to work from.

Create a campaign

There could be many reasons a company no longer works with you. Perhaps there was no longer a need for your services at the time, or maybe a competitor of yours made an approach and won the work. It may just have been a clash of personalities! Whatever the reason, you need to create a compelling reason for the lapsed customer to come back to you!  Perhaps you have improved your client services capability, expanded your team or offer a wider range of services than before. If so, you need to create an effective way to communicate this. We would always recommend an integrated campaign using multiple channels such as email, direct mail, social media and follow up calls.

Get in touch

It’s time to hit the green button and start your campaign to win back those hearts and minds. However you’ve chosen to communicate with your lapsed customers, make sure you follow a thorough procedure and follow up effectively. After all you’re trying to make a good impression and persuade them that they need you back in their life! Be sure to monitor your progress; if you have successes early on in your efforts take time to note what worked effectively so you can carry it forward to other clients.

Rekindling the love with past clients might seem like revisiting the past rather than moving forwards, but you might be surprised at the results.

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