The natural reaction when we fail to win business, or lose an existing customer, is disappointment and frustration, perhaps even anger and resentment. But what can we do about these lost and lapsed customers?
The first thing to remember is that how we behave when we get bad news, either about failing to win new customers or losing existing customers, will determine how our relationship with that prospect or customer develops in the future. You may say that you don’t want to have a relationship with them in the future, but this is very short-sighted and could be damaging for your business.
The other thing to remember is that the grass isn’t always greener! When customers choose an alternative service provider they often find that:
• Their high expectations haven’t been met.
• The levels of service weren’t as good as their previous supplier.
• Their needs weren’t met.
• They’re simply not getting value for money.
So if when you do lose business what should you do?
• Ask for feedback from the customer as to why you’ve lost their business. Be genuine, positive and forward looking. Seek to find ways to improve your own business.
• Stay close to the customer. Try to make them feel they’ve made the wrong decision by not giving you their business. Here are some ideas as to how you might do this: Follow up
• Treat them as if they’re a customer, even though they aren’t – yet!
It’s natural to feel disappointed or let down when you lose or fail to win new business. But you need to get over it! We believe that lost and lapsed customers can be a fantastic source of new business. Let’s face it, they already have some sort of relationship with you, and if you continue to work on that relationship skilfully and proactively, there’s no reason you won’t be given a shot at future business.
It’s all about relationships, so put your best effort into building bridges!