The answer to your question depends entirely upon what you need to do to keep old customers versus what you need to do to get new customers. It also depends on your industry. As a lawyer, I get a lot of business by word of mouth. I keep my old clients by giving good service. I get new clients by advertising, owning a website to market my firm and by participating in forums like this. I get new likes from referals form existing clients. I can't say there is a definitive answer to your question. It might requiress less EFFORT to retain existing clients, but that doesn't necessarily translate to a valid cost comparison.
It also depends on what it is you do for a living? If you are like me and you specialize more in Outside sales or Executive outside sales, most of the time it costs more to keep the existing customers. But you DONT EVER want to just focus on the cheaper way to go. Or to just focus on new customers. Since its the existing customer base that will be the ones making the big purchases, giving you referrals and things of that nature.
But in this line of sales its not out of the ordinary to be buying them fancy dinners/lunches, buying them drinks, taking them on trips, etc....and that can get real expensive real quick.
== == Additionally, in marketing terms, it's said that it's eight times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an old one. If you serve a customer well, they will be a repeat customer. It costs more from an adverstising and time standpoint to generate new customers.
It's much more difficult and expensive to obtain new customers than keep old ones. To get new customers, companies have to convince them that it's worth leaving their normal brand (for example, Verizon trying to convince Sprint customers to leave Sprint for Verizon). It's much easier and less expensive for a company to offer their current customers discounts or deals if they consider leaving for another brand (i.e. Sprint offering their customers a free month of service if they don't go to Verizon).
Lots of free time? Okay, maybe customers will stay with you longer and even pay higher prices knowing you won't deliver shoddy products or whatever. Since they stay longer you have less advertising than you would have if you had to generate brand new customers each time. And with older, reliable customers you have an idea of the credit risk as opposed to new customers. And you have an idea of the amount of complaints that old customers present compared to new.
When you're going to meet your new friends take your old friends with you?Simply talk to new people and hang with them, but don't ignore your old friends.You should make new friends and keep the old because your old friends you can trust because they have been your friends longer and if your new friends don't like the old friend tell them that they have to deal with it just say 'Big woop'.
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