New customer/client acquisition is expensive.  A more cost-efficient route to get your business growing in 2013 is to win back former customers and clients.  Actually, that’s not all that difficult or stressful.  Here are 3 tips from Image Marketing Consultants.

Get in touch.  Often customers and clients simply drift away for no reason.  Finding a reason to contact them, preferably with an incentive, will remind them that you are still around and care about their business.  Anecdotal evidence shows that most people buy from the last person who has contacted them with an attractive offer.

Remember, you might be thinking about your business night and day. Customers and clients don’t.  That’s why the burden is on you to be innovative in coming up with reasons to be in touch.

Ask what it will take for them to return.  Successful salespeople frequently close a deal by asking, “What will it take for me to get this sale?”  That forces the prospects to either move toward buying or to signal that they really aren’t serious.  Either way, the salespeople are better off.  That’s because they will get the information they need or they will view the situation as dead-end and move on to the next opportunity.

Likewise, you can “force” the issue and either have win backs or accept those accounts as gone.  When you discern that your former customers or clients are doing business with your competition, let them know you will go the distance to have them return.  One effective approach is to ask, “What will it take for you and us to do business again?”  Be ready to listen.  Be ready to compromise.  Be ready to demonstrate that you can learn from the past.

Show what’s new.  Since the beginning of marketing as a discipline in business, companies have been advertising what’s “new and improved” as a sure-fire way to get attention.  Hope is a primitive instinct and it’s driven by what promises to provide fresh experiences or solutions.   So, use it.

The challenge is to figure out what you can put out there that will both appear new and will attract interest.  For a retailer it could be the technology to check out purchases right in the dressing room.  For a restuarant, it could be a special menu that aligns with the most recent weight-loss approach.  For a public relations agency, it could be the e-book that’s researched, ghostwritten, produced, copyrighted, and distributed for X dollars.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation about your marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868.