We all spend time, money and effort finding new customers so we can grow our business. However, the greatest opportunity for growth is typically hidden among the customers we already have.
Getting the most from our existing customers is frequently overlooked skill, but it can bring incredible results when you perfect it. I believe that the reason many sales professionals pursue new customers with such vigour is that they always appear more exciting at first. The thrill of the chase can be addictive and emotionally rewarding. But by adopting this short-sighted strategy, we are not only overlooking our existing contacts, but also missing substantial opportunities.
Ask yourself some questions
- Are you aware of your customer’s future plans?
- Do your existing customers know all the services you provide?
- Do you review your customer accounts at least every six months?
- Do you make regular contact with your contacts that never became customers?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, you’re losing out on winning business and making money.
Develop a systemized process
As brilliant as you may be, great sales procedures don’t require individual brilliance. Integrating your process with a contact management system (CRM) will ensure that nothing gets missed and you keep all your promises.
Design a method that details your ideal customer experience.
Play out every eventuality, from initial contact to first meeting to close. You will know how to arrive at the desired outcome and how to best achieve it. Create a template for each email and letter at each stage and develop a flow chart to record your process. Attach the relevant communication to each stage of the process and ensure this policy is followed. Also consider what happens once the prospect has made a decision. Continue this process with a number of scheduled communications, and integrate these into your CRM system.
Create a product matrix
Consider every product and service you offer and every customer you do business with. Plot this information on a matrix. Can you see the gaps? Now you know for sure the potential new business within your reach and what opportunities you need to discuss with each client.
Vary communication methods
Continually change the way you communicate with your clients and prospects. Every method has its place, but bear in mind that all methods will lose impact and minimize effect if used constantly. Consider social media tools, emails with images, text messages, direct mail, phone calls or face-to-face conversations. Variety will keep your contacts interested and engaged.
Hold review meetings
Your customers are your most valuable asset. You should cherish and nurture them. Holding regular meetings with your customers presents you with the opportunity to undersell and over-deliver. Introduce them to valuable contacts, techniques and processes that will help them develop their business or reduce costs. The key purpose of the meeting is to establish opportunities and discover how you can help them further. Find problems you can fix or goals you can help them realize. Understanding your client’s plans and challenges presents you with an abundance of ways you can help them.
These are all practices you can implement immediately. What are you waiting for?