In times of uncertainty or economic recession, winning new customers is even more important than usual. As existing customers reduce or cancel their orders, there is a sudden need for new orders. This is not easy in times when everyone is concerned. Buying from a new supplier implies unknown factors and increases possible uncertainties, making it even more difficult for suppliers to win new customers. Moreover, this is not part of the sales and marketing routine.
In the article and the webinar “value creation in times of considerable uncertainty”, we will discuss the required knowledge and skills and the pitfalls relating to this topic. The basis to win new customers is customer confidence. And the fastest way to win new customers is to know what the challenges and aspirations of the potential customer are before the first contact. However, there is no approach that works for every situation, as it depends on the experiences of the customer, the impact and therefore the importance of the purchase and the complexity of the solution, as represented in the figure below.
An adequate sales sequence is necessary, in line with the foregoing. For that purpose you need to know the number of touchpoints, the media, the duration, the spacing of the touchpoints and the message you will use. The figure below illustrates the components on the basis of which the sequence must be developed.
Finally we will provide you with some must-do’s for the development of your sales sequence:
- Mix the media you use (minimally 3)
- Telephone calls are still an essential element
- A minimum of 6 contact attempts spread over time are necessary for a satisfying result
- For complex sales to large enterprises, you may even need 14 to 16 contact attempts spread over 22 days
- The follow-up of requests or reactions must take place on the same day; if not, the chance of a breakthrough decreases dramatically and the cost of sale will become much too high.
- The messages used must be adjusted to the industry or sector. Research has shown that capitalising on the role of the individual or enterprise results in a lower conversion
- During the first contacts, you enter an unknown phase of the customer’s buying cycle. Determining this phase as quickly as possible and adjusting your messages is of crucial importance in the digital era. Your LinkedIn profile must be attractive and must clearly reflect your potential contribution.
- Focus on building a relationship and trust by giving away “free” knowledge and experience. Selling the “arrangement”, which was the essential element for a long time when prospecting, has lost a lot of its success, is absolutely “not done” in times of uncertainty and will lead to procrastination. For example: “Call me back in autumn”
More detailed examples are given in the webinar “How to win new customers today”.