The search for lost customer sales treasure does take work – but the upside of the effort is huge. Lost customers make great future customers. You never know what hidden gems of business you might find in your lost customers.
Once you’ve identified lost customers with the potential of becoming great new customers, ask yourself a few questions:
- Are the reasons they stopped being a customer relevant any longer?
- What value might you provide them today?
- What experiences have you had since you last spoke that would help them?
- What information would help them right now?
- What questions should you ask them?
Once you’ve answered these questions and you’re confident that it’s time to revisit your relationship, make CONTACT!
Here’s a sample re-connection to help get you started: “Hi Gary, it has been a long time. We continue to help companies such as yours increase xyz or decrease abc. When we worked together, we provided you with the product you needed at exceptional cost and delivery time. With all the market changes we’ve still been able to help companies with increasing xyz. And I didn’t forget about you!”
Then turn the focus to THEM! And be prepared to listen. Maybe there is information you don’t know about why they are no longer a customer. This should be addressed first. Then you can move into a series of open-ended questions that will allow you to see if there is an opportunity to work together again. Some examples:
- “How is this economy affecting your business?”
- “What is most important to you these days?”
- “What are you currently working on?”
- “What new trends do you see emerging?”
- “How has the change in supplier been working for you”
Looking for lost customers really works. In the past month, we’ve reconnected with former customers and found that some of them have done NOTHING since we worked with them. They haven’t left us for someone else at all, but we haven’t done business with them in a while. Now that we made the effort to re-open the discussion, we are moving through the sales process to see how we can help them this year. And the process is easier because they know us and we know a lot about them.
What’s your best approach to re-engage a lost customer?
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