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How to Leverage Your Loyal Customer Base Towards More Business
Wooing new customers and winning new business rarely requires physically moving across town. A wiser, often untapped secret to boosting sales is simply cultivating your current business relationships.
“The people who could buy our products and services right now do not require us to physically be in their backyard,” says Jill Konrath, a sales acceleration strategist and Amazon best-selling author, whose clients include Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and Staples.
Konrath shares four tips to make sales soar without the stress of uprooting your business in the pursuit customers outside of your network.
Talk up more business. Consult with current customers to fully understand their needs and match those needs with solutions from your business. The discovery process, explains Konrath, requires analyzing the customer’s needs, challenges and goals. Consulting can also help you find additional ways your clients can use your products and services.
“If you’re selling promotional products for example, you could sell them to the sales department for trade shows,” says Konrath. “You could also sell them to the safety department for rewards and to the HR department for training.”
Focus on customer needs. Although an upsell is often a pricier product or service, more importantly, it provides a greater value to the customer. Start by analyzing the customer’s current products and services. Once you understand what they have, you can recommend upsells that offer a more precise fit and solution. Discuss the possibilities of products and services of greater value. Konrath says that customer ‘value centered’ conversations secure sales, while also building client loyalty.
“It’s never a pitch,” says Konrath. For example, if a client uses a computer extensively, you might talk about eye strain or how painful keyboarding can be. “If I focus on that and what you couldn’t do because of it – you’d be more likely to pay extra for an ergonomically-designed computer,” Konrath adds.
Ask for referrals. Precisely craft your request for a referral. Konrath suggests providing as much detail as possible about who your ideal client is. For example, you might say: “We work frequently by referral; the best clients for us to work with are law firms like yours, with 15 to 25 lawyers.”
Source new business. Securing new business with clients similar to your existing customer base fosters industry credibility. This strategy is easily supplemented by current customer referrals. Konrath also explains that it’s the wisest way for small companies to increase sales. Securing new business this way also works as a safety net for firms with limited clientele. Relying on one client to sustain your business could prove detrimental if the market changes. “You’re smart if your clients resemble each other because that way, it’s easier for you to get business,” explains Konrath. “People want to work with somebody who has some knowledge of what it’s like to work with people like them.”
Generating new sales leads doesn’t mean it has to be more work for you. Instead, focus on better understanding your target audience and how you can generate more revenue from your existing loyal customer base. Consult with established customers to find out how you can better meet their needs, upsell, and get customer referrals for sourcing new business.