There may be no better source for new revenue than your existing client base. Why? Because you’ve already sold to them once. They know you. You earned their trust and they value your service. At least, they did when they initially came on board. That means you have some common ground on which you can close your next big deal.
However, just because you sealed the deal once doesn’t mean that your clients will jump at the chance to buy a new product or service from you. They may not be happy with the service they’ve received. Or they may not getting the results they expected from your original deal. It’s also possible that they simply don’t have the budget, bandwidth, or inclination to commit to new business with you.
To capture more business from your existing clients, you’ll have to overcome those obstacles. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry. I have a simple three-step process below that will help you systematically prospect your current client base and win new business. Check out the steps below and then integrate them into your process:
Estimate your clients’ potential value.
Just like any new sales effort, you shouldn’t go into this without a strategy. Before you start dialing up clients and pitching a new service, take some time to determine which products and services are right for which clients, and which clients represent the biggest opportunities.
One way to do this is by estimating each client’s potential lifetime value. What services are they using now? How much revenue can you expect from those services or products in the future? What other products or services may also be a good fit, and how much revenue could you realistically expect from those?
Create a roster of your clients in your CRM or on a spreadsheet and then build out these figures. It’s important to be realistic when you estimate potential future revenue. Consider the client’s budget and their needs before penciling in the revenue from a new service or product.
When you’ve estimated potential revenue for every client, sort them by largest opportunity. This should give you some guidance on how to proceed and which clients to contact first.
Take their temperature.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to sell to existing clients. The wrong way is to do so in a manner that undermines all of the trust and goodwill that has already been established. Clients don’t want to be sold to, especially from someone whom they consider to be a partner.
Before you launch into the sales pitch, take some time to see how they’re feeling about their current products and services. Are they happy with their results? What do they like? What could you do differently or better? You could do this as part of a business review that you do on a regular basis, e.g. quarterly, bi-annually, annually.
You’ll have to determine whether this is best done in person, over the phone, or via email. I’m a firm believer that face-to-face meetings are a great way to enhance and develop the relationship. However, that’s not always possible, especially if you’re dealing with a large volume of clients.
Also use this conversation to inquire about their business. What challenges are they facing? What are their goals, and what obstacles are preventing them from reaching those goals?
Helping is the new selling. To maximize your relationship with the client, you need to position yourself as a partner who is there to help them. The only way to do that is to understand where they need help.
Once you’ve identified the opportunity and gained an understanding of your client’s needs, the final step is to offer solutions. These should be custom solutions that involve more than just them buying your product.
Maybe you can introduce them to a new potential customer so they can grow their business. Perhaps you have ideas on how they can utilize your services to expand their product line. You might have a way for them to use your company’s services to resolve a complex internal problem that they’re facing. Be creative and innovative.
The key is to present yourself as the problem solver. Put their needs before you own. Approach this step with sincerity and authenticity. Make your product or service a part of the solution, but not the entire solution. Clients are smart enough to know the difference between being helpful and simply selling them on a product.
Even if this process doesn’t result in a sale, it will enhance your relationship with the client. They will appreciate your efforts to help them, and they will likely view you as an even stronger and more trustworthy partner. There’s no downside to prospecting your clients when you do it from a consultative standpoint.
Need some help with this process? Want some guidance as you strive to hit your 2016 sales goals? I’m taking on new 2016 coaching clients. Your first coaching call is always free and you have no obligation to go any further. Schedule your no-cost, no-commitment coaching call today.
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