Sometimes you can be so busy chasing after the next big win that you miss the opportunities that are right under your nose
It’s a natural business and marketing instinct to be constantly on the hunt for new customers. Unfortunately, many organisations become so focused on this strategy that they end up ignoring potentially the hottest sales prospects that they have – their existing clients.
This applies as much in the world of Foreign Exchange (FX) and Financial Markets as it does anywhere else.
Let’s start by looking at the difference between a customer and a client. The difference is that a customer buys from you once while a client buys from you repeatedly. So it’s important to evaluate your marketing strategy on this basis: is it purely focused on bringing in as many customers as possible or is it focused on creating strong relationships with existing clients?
Building relationships is more effective than mass marketing
Many organisations take a ‘pray and spray’ approach to marketing rather than focusing on the areas that really work. They try to achieve blanket coverage by having as many conversations with as many potential customers as they can, in the hope that some new business emerges.
Yet if they focused on building even better relationships with their existing clients, they could grow their businesses an awful lot quicker. A happy client is a repeat client.
Relationships are particularly important in the world of FX
Recently we conducted a social media survey where we discovered that 92% of FX bankers wouldn’t accept unsolicited invitations to connect via the professional networking site LinkedIn.
That tells you an awful lot about the importance of relationships in the world of FX.
Given that good relationships are critical to business success, then, what can you do to build your relationships with your clients? Let’s start with the basics.
- Give them good service.
- Respond to their enquiries in a polite, prompt manner.
- Meet them and network with them as much as possible.
- If you’re talking to them at a conference, give them your undivided attention rather than constantly peak over their shoulder to see who else you can spot.
- Remember a few things about them that will make them feel that you actually know them.
- And think about how you can add value to their business – are there other people at the conference who you could introduce them to – potential clients or journalists, perhaps?
Thanks to social media, it is easier than ever to connect with your clients on a regular basis – even if you’re based in a different continent. Our recent research found that FX bankers see LinkedIn as the ‘go to’ social media tool, with 67% logging in on an ad hoc basis. So if you take the time to leave a quick LinkedIn message for your client or to comment on their posts, this will help to keep your business front of mind.
The bottom line
According to Harvard Business Review, the cost of acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
So it makes financial sense to spend as much time, if not more, on nurturing your existing clients as it does on chasing colder prospects.
Of course it’s still essential to set strategic objectives for your marketing and to have a marketing plan in place to gain new clients. Yet looking after your existing clients is the most obvious way to gain more work and to grow your business. Plus, it tends to generate great word-of-mouth marketing, which, as we all know, is one of the best types of marketing that you can get. Even better, it’s free.