Everyone wants to grow their sales. We all want to sell more so our companies can grow their bottom lines, create more jobs, and be solid corporate citizens. It’s no secret that we are in a tough industry that has had marginal growth in the past few years. So how can you grow? You can and should find new customers. Let me say that a little stronger : you MUST find new customers. You certainly have laid the groundwork to attract new clients. The tools you’ve established, when used properly, will at least get you an audience with potential clients who have not done business with you in the past.
But often times in our excitement to find new customers, we forget about the one customer who can help us immediately (for the least amount of effort and cost), and that is our existing customer. Think about it : the existing customer knows us, trusts us, likes us, and depends on us…what’s not to love?!
I suspect that most of us are leaving a fair amount of money on the table by not asking ourselves how much more we could be selling through our existing customer base. Let me give you a few examples: a customer uses our booth a couple of times a year for two shows. What if we just asked them if they have considered using this asset more efficiently by putting it up somewhere in their company to introduce a new internal program, initiative, product, etc.? Just doing this would likely result in a minimum of new graphics and/or hardware.
Or, does the customer do special events out in the marketplace or within their own company? Examples include a global sales meeting, a shareholder meeting, an open house or grand opening, etc. The message in both examples is simple: they own this asset that is only getting used x number of times per year. They could get an even better return on their investment if they used it more in different settings. One more example might be that you have done a great job selling clients on a certain product of yours, but they do not ask you to supply any services. Go in with a proposal for the entire program (that way you are not selling “stuff” but a complete program).
These thoughts are just scratching the surface of what we could be doing to sell more into your existing client base. I’m sure that you have ideas of your own that will result in successfully getting more customer share. Good luck as you consider this opportunity!
By: Bill Dierberger –