The business of freight forwarding is dynamic, and the flow of customer can vary tremendously. Certainly, you lost customers in the past without knowing why. Naturally, the orders spaced out and the relationship goes off slowly. This is pretty common. However, if you know how, it is possible to turn this loss into a new business opportunity. Most of the time it is easier to win back a past client than to find new ones, the key is to have the proper strategy to do it right.
1. Identify potential clients among old customers
Start with identifying whom from your previous customers might be potential new clients. Look for those who apparently have no reasons to not work with your company still. Target old customers that gradually decreased orders until they stopped being your customers. Most importantly, do not forget one-time customers with regular leads, whom are likely to need your services again.
2. Make research
Secondly, identify the contacts you have and collect data. Take advantage of LinkedIn and company’s website to gain useful information about the company, in order to target them appropriately, in the best way possible, with the right product. Using these channels, find out if your former contacts are still in the same position of responsibility or, if not eventually, who replaced them. With the right knowledge you increase the probability of them working with you again, offering a product that suits their needs.
3. Personalized communication
Now is the time to contact the target company. While doing so, it is crucial to be close and personal, as this strategy isn’t a one-fits-all case. Take the time to write personalized email to each contact, show that you are interested in them or the company without looking opportune. In the second part of the communication, explain why you are reaching out, what you can offer to their company and emphasize that you are willing to cooperate again if they’d like.
4. Give something in return
It may occur that you do not receive an immediate response. If so, take the initiative and write or call them again. Nevertheless, to establish quality communication you must offer something of value in return. Good practice is to tell them about your company, introduce a new team member or present your new tools or functionalities. If research was done correctly, you should be able at this point to present relevant information to them, with things that can add value for the potential customer.
5. Meet face to face
Finally, the last step to recover past clients is to request a meeting. The goal is to transmit closeness and confidence to your potential new clients, so that they understand that you care about them and their company and that you aren’t just a distant service provider. For this reason, a meeting in person is preferable to continue the communication and hopefully close the deal.