The business of freight forwarding can be very changing and the flow of customers, very irregular. No doubt it has happened in all companies that customers leave for no apparent reason. Simply the contact cools down and orders no longer arrive with such regularity. This is normal, but if we know how, we can turn this unpleasant circumstance into a new opportunity to do business. In most cases, it is easier to resume an existing relationship than to create a new one. But to do it properly we need a strategy.
1. Identify potential clients among our previous customers
The first step is to identify which old customers may be potential new customers. The contacts we must look for are those clients who do not seem to have a firm reason for no longer working with our company. Those who were gradually decreasing orders until they ceased to be customers will be the best targets. Also, we must not forget one-time customers with regular leads that may want to hire our services again.
2. Do proper research
The second step of our strategy to recover previous clients is to identify the contacts we have and collect information. The LinkedIn profile and the company’s website are the best places to do some research. In this way we can know if our former contacts continue in positions of responsibility, or what are their replacements, if that is the case. Through these channels we can also find useful information about the company, so we are able to offer them the product that best suits their needs, increasing the chances of them collaborating with us again.
3. Person to person communication
Now is the time to get in touch with the target company. It is important to be close and personal when communicating with different clients. This is not a one-fits-all case. It is necessary to write a personalized email for each contact. Being interested in them or the company is a good way to reach someone without being inopportune. The second part of the communication should be to explain why we are in contact, what we can offer to their company, and comment that we are willing to collaborate again if they wish.
4. Offer something in return
It may happen that we do not receive an immediate response. In that case we must take the initiative and write or call them again. But to establish quality communication we must offer them something of value. It is a good idea to tell them about our company, introduce a new team member or explain that we have new IT tools. If we have done our research correctly, at this point we will be able to offer relevant information to their business, things that can represent a profit for the potential client.
5. Face to face meetings
The last step in trying to recover old customers for our company is to request a meeting. In this way we want to transmit closeness and confidence to our potential new clients. We want them to understand that we care about them and their company, and we are not just a distant service provider. For this reason, a meeting in person is always a good way to continue the communication, and even to close a deal with someone who had stopped calling us and now wants to be our customer again.