How many clients do you ignore?

Don’t you just hate being ignored?  You know those people who know who you are but somehow never remember you, or just don’t see you?  I’ve just realised that a supplier has been doing that to me!

Don't neglect small clients

Back in the bad old days – a couple of years ago – we used to send advertising material to publications on CD.  I clearly remember the panic when the courier was at reception, threatening to leave because the courier bag wasn’t quite ready for collection, and we’d beg him to wait for fear we’d miss the deadline.

At first I used a big name company, but changed suppliers when a smaller company offered me a better price.  I wasn’t exactly making them rich, but I was certainly on first name terms with them.

Soon we began to send ad material over the Internet instead, but I still need a courier from time to time. Like today: I had to get a parcel to Port Elizabeth. Simple, call up the courier company and they’ll collect.  But I called my original courier company; not the newer, cheaper one – even though they’d never let me down.

It might not seem logical, but has anyone ever argued that logic is the sole driver in business decisions?  Why didn’t I call them? Because I don’t have a relationship with them anymore.

They appear to have forgotten about me.  I get it; they shouldn’t waste valuable selling time on companies with limited potential for business. But that doesn’t mean they should ignore me completely.

Clearly, your focus is on the 20% of your clients that delivers the bulk of your profit, but you can’t ignore the other 80%. Not if you want to keep their business. Out of sight is out of mind.

Face to face is a powerful way to market your service, remind your clients what you can do for them and how you add value, but it’s expensive and time-consuming.  And unless you have unlimited resources it’s not easy to keep up a constant presence with all of your clients.  But if you don’t keep contact, you risk them going elsewhere. Traditional advertising is a great option, but it’s not cheap either.  With digital, on the other hand, you have a sustainable solution.

Email marketing and social media marketing are accessible and affordable – even when the budgets are limited.  Your priority clients can enjoy a mix of personal contact and regular email and social media contact and your smaller clients won’t be left out in the cold.

Of course, you can DIY, but it’s probably a good idea to call in professional help and take a measured, strategic approach.  And if you decide to take that route, give me a call, I’d love to help.

And in case you’re wondering, why do I still have a relationship with the first, larger company?  Well, it’s not much of a relationship. They send me the odd letter and updated price lists from time to time, and that’s about it.  But intermittent contact is better than none at all!  I may not need them regularly, but when I do need them, I know exactly who to call.

If you’d like to find out more about digital marketing, give us a shout, we’d love to help.

I value every comment and read every one, so if you take the time to leave one, thank you –  it makes my day!

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  1. Trish Eveleigh on July 21, 2015 at 20:54

    Very good article and so true. When I was employed I had a certain printing company that did do work when we needed, not often, but without fail, every 2nd week he came to visit, just pop in and did social chatting, max 5 minutes so you did not mind hat he just popped in ,never about work or requirements. Now and again just sent a “HI” or a real cute little clean joke, just so that you did not forget him. Now that is service with a smile. Our business with him was very small, but he treated us (me) like I was the most important biggest client he ever had!. That is a company in a million.

    • Ann Druce on July 22, 2015 at 10:42

      Exactly! You’d have no reason to go elsewhere.

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