A new survey by relationship marketing company CR Cards has found that ‘LinkedIn-grooming’ and invasive cold calling are the most hated forms of new business prospecting from the point of view of the recipient.
CR Cards surveyed more than 300 SME owner-managers about their business development strategies and preferred methods of engagement to better understand how companies drive client loyalty and build relationships.
Their efforts with the survey group revealed that, unsurprisingly, cold calling is the most unpopular new business tactic to be the recipient of, with 21 per cent saying they actively disliked this medium. Closely behind was ‘LinkedIn-grooming’ – the experience of being approached through the popular social network – with 18 per cent of respondents marking that form as a pet hate.
At the other end of the spectrum, the most-favoured new business tactic was email (47 per cent), face-to-face networking (30 per cent) and direct mail (25 per cent).
The study also examined the tactics employed by businesses when prospecting for potential clients, and found that businesses are four times more likely to take a prospective client for drinks or dinner than an existing client, and twice as likely send a prospect a gift compared to an existing client. But on the other hand, business owners are 10 per cent more likely to invite their existing clients to networking event than prospects.
Interestingly, the survey also found that 21 per cent of business owners claimed that their suppliers appreciated them less as soon as they became a paying client, while 10 per cent of said there was ‘no value’ in showing appreciation to clients that fell outside their top 20 budgets.
“While business development is a crucial tactic for growth, it’s important to not do this at the expense of your existing customers,” CR Cards Founder and Director Matt Sandford explains. “And remember, industry stats estimate that going after a new customer costs on average six times as much as it does to retain one.”
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