How to sell more to your current customers
In the pursuit of new business, your current customers can often get overlooked.
Not only is it important to look after your current customers to ensure they remain loyal to you and that you support them so that their sales grow; don’t forget, that current customers can also be a source of additional income.
So, let’s take a little look at how you can ensure you are selling as much as possible to your current customers.
Keeping track of sales
Firstly, do you have a robust system in place that means you can track customer orders on a weekly basis and that will flag up instantly if a customer’s orders start to drop off. This is the time to immediately get on the phone to them and see what’s happening and how you can help. If it is early days in your business this robust system may just be a spreadsheet and ensuring that you devote the time to track orders by customer weekly.
Increase the range
Have you done a matrix of your customers and products? A simple one on a spreadsheet will quickly highlight the gaps i.e. which customers aren’t taking all your products. Then it’s a case of going through customer by customer and putting a case together of why they should take the products they are currently not taking. Think about getting testimonials from other customers similar to them that stock the products and that are selling well.
Also – you might want to do a flyer with a monthly feature/discount on a particular product or range, so that when you send the orders out to your customers you can pop this in with their order to incentivise them to look at new products/ranges.
Explore all channels
What about ensuring that you have explored all routes to market with all of your customers? For example, you may supply several farm shops, but have you considered whether you could supply any of your products to the cafes that many farm shops have? You could even encourage them to mention your product on their café blackboard and say it’s available to buy in the shop. Again – it’s worth going through customer by customer and highlighting all those that you can explore a different route to market.
Having a Customer Account Management Plan
Speaking to customers on a regular basis is something I am sure you all do and is so important in terms of building relationships.
Taking it one step further, I believe having a formalised Customer Account Management Plan can really help you increase your sales with current customers.
This is where you document how often you are going to call them and what you are going to call them about. Some examples that you could include are:
- Commit to calling them monthly in order to tell them about a top-selling or new product that they currently don’t list.
- Commit to introducing yourself to someone new in the business every x months e.g. Café Manager, Assistant Shop Manager …
- Commit to meeting the owners of the business every x months.
- Invite them to your premises on an annual basis
I hope this has given you some ideas to follow up on. If you would like any further help with managing your customers, please do get in touch at [email protected] or call Jo on 0772 335 1884.
Buy British Trend Gives UK Food Producers a Boost
Following on from my visit to The Great British Exchange in the beautiful countryside just outside Harrogate – a town buzzing with independent delis and gift stores, I’m delighted to introduce a guest blog from Matthew Hopkins, Managing Director of The Great British Exchange who talks about the growing trend of buying British and what it means for food producers.
New figures from The Great British Exchange show that the trend to buy locally produced and British made food products and gifts is continuing.
The company shipped 10,000 boxes of British made product to UK stores and sold 200,000 units on behalf of its network of handpicked manufacturers in 2017.
The latest statistics show that it is helping a growing number of independent food producers onto the shelves of high street stores and supporting a rising consumer trend to buy British.
The GBE actively seeks out the most exciting and innovative British food producers and works with them to make them retail ready.
We sort out the practicalities which make it possible to join the dots between small start-up businesses and big stores. What we are effectively doing is turning the supply chain on its head and if buyers are going to source limited volumes of small batch products from a wide range of different makers there needs to be someone sorting out the logistics.
We are now introducing 15 new British brands to the UK supply chain every week and this is giving retailers a key point of difference as well as supporting some exciting homegrown talent.
Interest in British made and locally produced food products has increased significantly in the past year. We have seen a far higher level of interest in British goods from gift retailers over the past 12 months than previously and a large part of that growth can be attributed to consumer demand for locally sourced and unique food gifts.
As well as sourcing British goods for large retailers such as John Lewis, Dobbies and Forest Holidays, the Great British Exchange works with 2,500 independent stores
The Great British Exchange was launched to offer buyers the newness and variety they crave and make it as easy as possible for them to stock the latest hot British brands.