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Getting back in the door

Most jobshops are uncomfortable with having one, two, or three customers providing 70 percent or more of their business. But winning new customers can be tough.

How many times has this happened to you? You wine and dine a prospective customer, quote a job, complete that one job perfectly and deliver it on time, and then don’t get any more work from that customer.

To win more work from these “one-shot” customers and completely new potential customers, shops must stay in front of people, be in their faces talking up the shop and offering manufacturing services above and beyond just supplying parts. Probably the simplest and most cost-effective way to get that message across and to promote your shop is through your website – more specifically through short vignettes, which many shops fail to include on their sites.

These vignettes, or short brief stories, should present some of your shop’s successes with other customer jobs/ projects. Show photos of parts that were especially challenging. List what was so challenging about them, how you made them and how you delivered them on time and to customer requirements.

This information comes from several shops attending the “Business Development” roundtable held at American Machinist’s Machine Shop Workshop 2008 in Oak Brook, Ill.

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