5. Provide an Incentive to Repeat Customers
Certainly, many customers appreciate an incentive from a contractor who they have given work to in the past. An incentive might be a percentage discount on upcoming work to be performed, a "pass" on a deposit that is often required of new customers, or a higher priority in scheduling upcoming work. While the financial incentive might be the hook with customers whom you have just completed one or two projects the long-term customer may simply appreciate knowing that you will move their job up a little sooner on your schedule when possible.
6. Continue to Provide Before & After Photos
One mistake contractors can make is to discontinue giving past customers photos of their projects. This is a subtle way of telling the customer that you don't have to work that hard to keep their business or that you might be taking their business for granted. It is just as important to maintain the same energy and sales effort with customers that you have done five or fifteen projects for as it is with the brand new customer who you are trying hard to impress.
7. Ask Customers for Referrals
This networking technique is especially important for contractors who work with residential customers. While the home owner who needed a drive way or patio poured and finished might not own other homes or buildings they very often have other friends and relatives who trust their judgment to use you for their concrete needs. Asking your customers for referrals is really part of "Sales 101" for sales and estimators but is often neglected. Too bad because for those sales professionals who do ask for referrals every time they sell a job they increase their revenues 40%-60%! This technique is a great way to grow your revenues through turning your existing customers into sales people and door openers for your company.
8. Introduce Your Customer to Other Building "Partners"
This technique may be more doable with commercial clients but there is a growing number of building owners who are looking to further their investments and ownership of buildings by looking for partners who might share some of the financial and management risks. The conduit common to such an arrangement could very easily be you! This gets back to the need to understand what your customer's vision is for their own company growth and their resource situation. By keeping an open ear you might just hear something that could allow you to play "broker" between two potential partners that would only naturally look at you to do the construction portion that you specialize in providing.
9. Do Quality Work!
One thing is certain, if you do not perform quality concrete work for your existing customers you fail to get additional work. All the greatest marketing and customers service tricks in the world cannot make up for poor quality. You can increase the likelihood of driving up revenues from existing customers by doing a great quality job the first time. If you and your work crews are not 100% fanatics about performing quality then you would be best served by getting this part of your company fixed first.
10. Just Ask for It
Do you really want to increase revenues from your existing customer base? There is only one thing that will do this in the end and that is to just ask for the business. Even the customer whom you have had a great relationship wants to be asked. No one likes to be taken for granted, even your most loyal customer. When you are having that morning cup of coffee with a long-term customer and they talk about that new construction job they want to get started on in the next year, don't assume that they already have your name written in as their contractor of choice. Ask them for the work and let them know that you want their work.
Increasing your revenues can certainly be done without a lot of extra marketing and advertising costs. Treating your current customers well and taking a sincere interest in their future will open many doors to repeat work. Sure it may cost you a dinner a few times a year, maybe even a round of golf or some tickets to the ball game but this is still small potatoes compared to digging and scratching everywhere possible to find new business.