Building business relationships: Cold calling is out

Businessmen shaking hands

New research has revealed that cold calling and LinkedIn grooming are the most disliked business tactics used when seeking clients. Here’s how to drive loyalty and avoid the pitfalls of prospecting.

Invasive cold calling was revealed to be the most unpopular business tactic in a recent study by relationship marketing company CR Cards. Coming in just behind was ‘LinkedIn-grooming’- the experience of being approached through the popular social network.

The study, which questioned more than 300 small business managers, was commissioned to shed light on how companies drive client loyalty and build relationships. It found that the most favoured new business tactic was email, followed by face-to-face networking and direct mail.

The study also examined the tactics employed by businesses when prospecting potential clients. According to CR Cards, businesses are four times more likely to take a prospective client for drinks or dinner than an existing client. These attitudes were felt by clients, with more than a fifth admitting that they feel ‘less appreciated’ now that they’re paying clients.

CR Cards director Matt Sandford advised businesses against chasing new customers at the expense of existing ones.

“While business development is a crucial tactic for growth, it’s important to not do this at the expense of your existing customers. Looking after your existing customer base and making them feel appreciated doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive,” he said.

“Remember, industry stats estimate that going after a new customer costs on average six times as much as it does to retain one,” he added.