Ask WhyHow often does your boss, your sales manager or someone else (even yourself) ask  why you lost your last 5-10-25 or 100 clients?

Who really knows the answer?

It’s your former client.

So, why don’t you ask these clients why s/he no longer buys from your company?

You might get lucky and find a X-client who is prepared to talk, but keep in mind that s/he has moved on and may not want to talk to you.

Also, your Ex will probably will give you only one reason, then thank you for your efforts and wish you well.

So keep asking… “And what else” “What are more reasons”. Act confused and ask to explain further.

How much have you learned? Not much at all if you stop at one questions and take the answer for granted.

Recently, I lost a client for whom I had created a successful direct-mail campaign. This marketing effort had produced a nice 1,148.85% Return on Investment (ROI).

Later, I found out from my client she was upset with the slow response that she was getting from me regarding a marketing questionnaire for which she had paid. After answering the questions, my client wanted her market­ing analysis, which is part of the deal, but we just couldn’t seem to find a mutually convenient time to get together.

Ultimately, I gave her a refund on the questionnaire and we parted ways.

However, to this day I feel that there had to be some­thing more. Maybe there was a hidden “decision-maker,” someone else who had a final say about who my client does business with or who harbored some ill feeling. I felt very bad when I lost my client because I was hoping that there would be a long and profitable relationship for both of us.

Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on the definite reason why someone stops giving you his/her bus­ness.

It can be hard to determine what complaints s/he had about you that led to the decision. Many times, you are left with very little information. Working backwards to discover what went wrong can be very difficult.

How about this?

Be prepared to ask a new client for a lit­tle time after the first sale or, then you probably can determine the things that keep him or her coming back and buying from you.

After the relationship with your client advances from the new phase to “long-term,” ask him/her why you get his/her business. There will be quite a few reasons, not just one or two. You may have to dig deep, ask  open-ended questions. I’m sure that it will be worth it.

Build a file or a database of the answers that you get and the reasons why your clients came to you in the first place, of course, but also (if possible) the reasons that they stopped using your competition.

Discover from these answers what you can do to prevent clients from going somewhere else.

You’ll benefit by using what you have learned with your next prospect. All this valuable information will help you to convert him or her into a new client.

What will you be asking your clients and X-clients next?

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