Do You Know Your Customers’ Changed Conditions…Ambitions & Priorities...?

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 By Sid Chadwick

The purpose of a company... is to develop customers”….Peter Drucker, Consultant, Author, Professor


A long-term professional friend (since about ’91) -- had provided us a Referral – to an organization whose conditions may appear familiar….

attentionOver the last 15 months :

  1. They’d cut back front-line customer-contact personnel  (and therefore reduced contact with many customers)……along with reducing production and G & A personnel.
  2. There had been no “Program” – to stay in touch with the “bottom-half” of their customer lists….only the top 1/2 of their customers -- received regular attention.
  3. Customer records – for their bottom-half customers – appear “somewhat out-of-date”  (personnel turnover, changed duties, etc.).
  4. Business is slowly coming back. Yet, for this company – the phone is not ringing enough –  and they’ve got costs to recover from.
  5. Someone – with credibility – told them Chadwick Consulting could uncover several hundred thousand $’s of immediate business – from current customers – through our major Customer Survey processes.

That’s when they called us…. Subsequently,  we gathered preliminary

information and submitted a Proposal for a major Customer Survey.

In general terms, our Fee Structure runs approximately 4% to 5% of the business opportunities – at current customers -- we expect to uncover – and generally do uncover.

Said somewhat differently, we charge about 4% to 5% -- of the estimated 1st-year revenues --- of new business opportunities – we expect to uncover – at current customers.

(And…we’ve therefore assisted our client to “avoid -- diving on price” -- to get into a new customer…that tends to take months…!)

Growth up arrowSidebar: A client once asked me what she should expect as an ROI for the $13,000 total fees (including out-of-pocket costs) we had proposed.  My response: “I expect to generate at least $300,000 in new business opportunities – from current customers -- for your company – from our approx. $13,000 -- total fee…for all that we’ll do to make that result happen for you…..From that calculation,  I’m not sure how I should respectfully answer your question re. ROI…" (Note: Their V.P of Sales reported to her and me after Survey results were in, “We got at least $500,000 in additional business opportunities – to follow-up on.”)


My daughter once observed that commercial printers were second only to farmers re. their conservative approach to business.  (As farmers tend to care about their land and equipment, commercial printers care about their equipment, technology, and personnel.)

Another aphorism: “Commercial printing company owners, as a general rule, seem to know the cost of almost everything in production, but not necessarily the values of – what it takes to develop new business. “

Do your customers…. know your capabilities…?

What does your Sales Literature say about your most impressive, newest capabilities…and your Customers’ Benefits………?

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want….until you show them.”………Steve Jobs



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