Some studies suggest it may cost a firm 5  times more to acquire a new customer vs. re-selling / up-selling or cross-selling an existing customer or client.  If so, why do so many firms tend to chase after new leads rather than fully developing the existing relationships they already have?

I believe there are two (2) good explanations for this:

PERSPECTIVE . . . if you don’t recognize the value of cultivating a long-term relationship, you may not even think to cultivate an initial contact into a productive relationship — especially if your new contact isn’t ready to do business.

TIMING . . . most prospects probably don’t need or want what you do, at first.  They’re cooler, not hotter prospects.  In  time they may become ‘hot’, but most are not likely to seriously entertain doing business with you . . . today.

Following-up with prospects builds a preference for your brand, reflects a strategic perspective and overcomes the trap of  “Now or never” thinking.