Care and Cultivation
Greetings from the UK where it is getting increasingly chilly. While the seasonal change in weather is something we can predict, it remains difficult to have any sort of certainty about the economic climate as the pandemic continues to dominate headlines. However, as a business owner, it’s important to not see uncertain conditions as an entirely negative thing, as there are opportunities.
I’m sure that you, like me, have been using this unprecedented time to look at your business in a slightly different way, considering what can be improved upon. One of the conclusions I’ve made during is actually the confirmation of a view I’ve held for some time, and that is not to get drawn into putting all of your energy into attracting new customers and leads.
On the face of it, I’m sure that could sound like a strange statement, but in looking back at our list of customers and quotes, it confirmed that while new leads and customers are of course vital, of equal importance is the care, attention and time we invest in existing enquiries. It can be easy to judge how well things are going in non-quantifiable ways, relying on how things feel. Are the phones constantly ringing, are email inboxes full of new enquiries? Do we feel busy? This is of course an important metric. As a business owner, gut instinct and that inherent intuition as to how things are going should never be ignored, but I do think it’s easy to get slightly distracted by the number of leads and enquiries coming in, viewing that as a sign of success instead of focusing on what is actually done with them.
Getting a new enquiry should always be a positive, but in reality, that’s where the hard work should start. That new lead could have untapped potential – repeat work, recommendations, PR opportunities or a chance to try a new product or technique. Every new lead could be a gateway to more business and more success, but only if it is correctly cared for and cultivated. There is a danger that, especially when things are busy, leads arrive, are dealt with or quoted on before moving onto that next enquiry. With the phone ringing off of the hook, it’s easy to get into an “onto the next” mentality.
While getting back to customers in a timely manner is obviously very important, over the past few months I’ve been reminding myself and my colleagues that it isn’t always about what comes next, it’s about doing the very best with what we already have. Generating new leads is exciting, it’s a buzz – it’s why most of us went into business in the first place – but I feel it can be easy to lose sight of how valuable each and every one of them is.
As an example, this month we’ve carried out our twentieth project for a regular client. I’m sure many of you have similarly loyal customers. The point is that this regular work has come about by cultivating and caring for that initial lead. It’s easy to focus on or to worry about what’s next, what’s the big new job, when in reality there are existing enquiries or quotes on your books that are full of potential. The temptation is to chase more, when a closer look may reveal you already have enough.
Until next time… toodle pip!