There is no such thing as a sales career with clients who stick around forever. No matter how hard you try, your client’s needs will change, or they will be won over by another salesperson and eventually become former clients. However, there is a silver lining: They may not stay gone for good, says Petra Odak, writing for HubSpot. There is still a chance to win back your customers from competitors.
Just as your former client’s needs changed once, they could change again in your favor. Or their new business relationship with your competitor could turn out to be a mistake that they’ll want to correct. This is your opportunity to win back your former customers from competitors. However, if you are not utilizing your networking skills, you won’t be around to scoop former clients back up when they’re in need again. Here’s a strategy Odak suggests to stay top-of-mind when this happens.
How to Win Back Customers from Competitors
The art of staying connected to former customers extends beyond social media connections with them. To truly stay connected with former clients, and in a way that benefits them and influences them to come back as customers from competitors, your networking skills will have to include three component.
Conduct a Case Study
Soon after your business relationship with your client ends, reach out to the now former client with a proposal to create a case study for the most recent job you two completed together. This strategy will benefit both of you in a variety of ways:
One: You will keep your business relationship with your former client going at least until the process of creating the case study is over.
Two: You will create content that shows off how you and your products and services can benefit similar prospective clients who will be researching you in the future.
Three: Your former client can potentially share your case study results on their company's own websites and social media pages to promote the results they saw while working with you on the project. If your former prospect posts the case study, not only will they be highlighting their success, but they will also be promoting your services on their websites and social media pages (in turn reaching more potential clients for you). The successful case study will also remind them of your work whenever it is brought up in conversation. This may put them in a mindset that could help you win back customers from competitors.
Check In Quarterly
Hopefully your last project with your former client was expected to have lasting results. With these long-term results in mind, you can regularly check in with your former client to make sure things are still going according to plan. If nothing else, at least by regularly checking in you’re proving that you care about the results your company gives its clients, even after they leave.
Ongoing Benefits: Providing value to your former clients is an excellent way to maintain contact without annoying them. Introduce these former clients to your connections who they may benefit from knowing. You can also send them links to useful content — anything to provide value in your continued outreach.
Profitably Winning Back Customers from Competitors
You may already know that a business has up to a 40% chance of winning back a lost customer. Before you start trying to get a customer to return to you, think about the profitability of your efforts. Because not every customer will come back, you should focus on the previous clients who were most positive about you in the past. Oliver Stasinsky suggests reviewing your CRM to see who wrote glowing reviews about your products. If these clients are the same ones who left you because of a price issue, they may be tempted to return when you make the right offer.
The client departure may have also stemmed from a misunderstanding about the value of your product. Check your notes and CRM to look for reasons about the termination. If they didn't understand how to use your product, offer them free training when they return.