So, we all know there is nothing worse than cold calling. But what’s next on our hate list?
Believe it or not, it is LinkedIn-grooming – the growingly sophisticated, and no less detested, art of working the professional networking site to buttonhole unsuspecting but prospective business associates.
That is a key finding of a small survey by client relationship marketing company CR Cards. The firm polled 305 SME owner-managers on their business development strategies and preferred methods of engagement.
Don’t forget the old
Over a fifth (21%) said they disliked cold calling and LinkedIn was not far behind at 18%.
Call our SMEs old-fashioned but they would rather pursue the traditional channels. Email was the most-favoured with 47% backing, face-to-face networking scored 30% and 25% preferred direct mail.
CR’s study assessed another interesting choice confronting businesses: Existing Clients vs. New Clients. What it found should be a wake-up call for many who pursue new business at the expense of current clients.
- Businesses are four times more likely to take a prospect for drinks or dinner than an existing client; and twice as likely to send a prospect a gift rather than to an existing client.
- 21% of business owners said their suppliers appreciated them less as soon as they became a paying client
- On the other hand 10% of business owners said they saw “no value” in showing appreciation to clients that fell outside their top 20 budgets.
“While business development is a crucial tactic for growth, it’s important to not do this at the expense of your existing customers,” said Matt Sandford, founder and director of CR Cards. “And remember, industry stats estimate that going after a new customer costs on average six times as much as it does to retain one,” he added.
Sandford also believes that looking after your existing customer base and making them feel appreciated doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive.
CR Cards is an online relationship and marketing system that allows users to send personalised, branded, printed and posted cards to their clients. The company is part of Freerange Creative Pty. Ltd., operators of the popular Yellow Postie personalised greetings card service.