It’s a regular occurrence in sports teams. One team gets really good. They start winning more games and maybe go undefeated in a season. Then they win the BIG game and are crowned World Champs. What follows the next few years is fairly common.
First there is talk of repeat and then three-peat. It rarely happens. More often than not star players get old in position. A couple years of MVP and then; not so much. Pretty soon it’s difficult to put together a winning season. What happened?
Look in the mirror. What have you done to bring something new or different to your customers? Albert Einstein is broadly credited with exclaiming, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. Providing new products, new approaches to old problems and asking new questions will keep you fresh in the eyes of your customers. Here are some ideas to implement in 2019:
- New products. This is an automatic reason to contact old and new customers. Set appointments with everyone that may have an application for your new product(s). Calling on current customers and new prospects will keep you engaged for several months.
- New applications for current products. If you don’t have new products to present, think about new applications for current products. I am reminded of a client that manufactures filters for the dairy industry. After some research, my client discovered that very same filter material can be used in other manufacturing applications. It’s almost like having a new product and certainly a whole new market to pursue.
- New markets, new industries, new territories. Are there new markets or industries where you can promote current products? This will also introduce you to new prospects/customers. Moving beyond your traditional geography will also help you find new prospects. As with my dairy client, look for other industries that may have similar applications.
- Review your product/service offerings with your customers. I see this regularly. A customer, a good customer, has a new problem and is searching for a solution. He calls in his trusted suppliers and is surprised to learn one of them has exactly the solution he needs. I mention this because regular review with your customers of your complete offering often uncovers new opportunities. Never, never assume your customers are fully aware of everything your company does or offers.
Will you continue the pursuit of insanity or do something differently in 2019?
We wish you a prosperous and Happy New Year!