How To Recover Relationships With Lost B2B Clients?


The probability of selling to an existing client is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new client is 5-20%. But what if you have lost your existing client?

A marketing professor at Georgia State University, V.Kumar states that the focus of the companies should be more on lapsed customers. Here’s why!

  • They have shown their need for the service which makes them a better prospect than the random prospects lined up on the cold calls list.
  • They are already familiar with the company and its services.
  • Their feedback on how they used and found your services gives you an insight of your successful strategies and the failed ones.

Though the research in Sales focuses on acquiring new customers, winning back lost customers is equally important.

5 Steps to Recover Relationships with B2B Clients

Here are 5 steps you must follow for recovering relationships with lost clients.

1. Identify the reason for the lost relationship

Identify the reason for the lost relationship

Prior to taking any other steps, the first thing needed to recover the relationship with a client is to find the reasons for dissolution.

While some business relationships dissolve because they touch the endpoint of a contract, some end due to lack of communication​, pricing pressures, or even restructuring in management.

You must focus on finding the party or concern accountable for the fallout and aim at collecting all the information that led to the dissolution.

A study revealed that 82% of consumers in the United States stop doing business with a company due to poor customer experience.

If you were at fault, accept the mistake and honestly try to improve in those areas.

In 2009, Brex Tech who supplied electronic components to RIFL lost its customers because it increased the prices and restructured. They were informed by the RIFL about the issues the changes caused but nothing was done about it. This caused a dispute between the two companies which made RIFL move away.

But in 2012, Brex Tech made the necessary changes and won RIFL back.

2. Weigh the costs with respect to the benefits

Weigh the costs with respect to the benefits

Rather than just calling every client lost and working on the issue, you must first weigh the benefits against the costs of getting them back. The market consists of varieties of customers and not all are worthy to work with again.

Check the previous transactions made with the client. Have a detailed report of the investments and revenues before deciding to regain them as customers.

Your business may have also evolved over time with respect to your service offerings. Review the customer’s list and see if who is most likely to purchase your services.

3. Approach with confidence without sounding desperate

Approach with confidence without sounding desperate

Sounding desperate and opportunistic can cost you an unwanted rejection. Be honest while communicating with the clients and appear confident.

Refrain from trying to pursue them by saying how much you want to work with them or revealing other details like why your business desperately needs a deal with the company.

Show yourself in a better condition than the past when you were involved with them in business.

Convey that you enjoyed working with them in the past and now as your service is more evolved you want to benefit their company by your new products and advanced services.

Make sure to let them know your recent experience with giant companies. This will automatically answer the unavailability of your interest in working with them until now.

4. Commit to delivering value with higher-than-before-deal

Commit to delivering value with higher-than-before-deal

Accepting your faults is not enough if you’ve lost your client’s trust. You have to commit to over-deliver by providing services that your client didn’t expect.

To repair the damage, promise to deliver value with higher-than-before-deal. This will repair the broken trust and help you develop a new bond. The values of your company will shine through and remind them why your team and products are amazing.

Optimize and readjust your service by providing special product designs at lower prices. Make it customized and flexible with your lost client’s needs. You can also offer some feasible loyalty discounts to make your client feel special.

Correcting a past mistake will not only give you your old clients back but also put you in the hot market.

5. Walk the extra mile for your “lost” customer

Walk the extra mile for your "lost" customer

Getting back with lost customer calls for a different strategy than closing a deal with a new one. Your past client has prior experience of your services and long-made perception of your team. Thus, getting them back requires walking a few extra miles.

Try giving them some exposure. Take their name at a few events of the same association they are involved in. Contact them for interviews for your company. Inform them when including their names in your company’s personal blogs.

Do not hesitate to approach them first.

Keep track of their work anniversaries and other special occasions. Send regular emails and courtesies via LinkedIn. Customize your greetings by beginning the salutations by their names. Your message will be acknowledged and they will reply. Use this as an opportunity and fix a meeting.

Sending warm and short handwritten notes also helps a lot and seems more personal than emails. If you know them well, try sending information relevant to their business or their personal hobbies.

Recovering relationships is a key component for sustainable growth!

recover relationship

A company cannot just rely on their top-notch services and products. It’s the quality of the relationship you have with your customers that keep your business flourishing. The way you deal with recovering relationships with your past customers can totally make a difference.

The crowded marketplace of today is not just about customer acquisition. It’s customer retention and customer reacquisition that makes you truly memorable in the market.

Winning your lost customers back will not just give you more business chances, but the cordial relationship will also spread the word of your loyalty.

So, to win back lost clients make sure that the communication lines are not lost, remember to add value, keep your customers informed, and even if you promise less, deliver more!

If you feel crafting a reacquisition strategy is draining all your time, you can contact expert B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. They have the desired experience and expertise needed to convince the lost clients.

Still not sure where to start? Contact us and we will take it up from there.