Your best new prospects are your current customers
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OPINION: Existing clients are a valuable source of future business.
Looking for new prospects? Who isn’t? It may interest you to know that you have hundreds of hot prospects you’re not paying attention to – your current customers.
Consider these assets already in your favour.
• They know you.
• They like you.
• You have established rapport.
• Confidence and trust have been built.
• You have a history of delivery and satisfaction.
• They respect you.
• They use (and like) your product or service.
• They will return your call.
• They will be more receptive to your presentation and product offering.
• They have credit and have paid you in the past.
• They don’t have to be sold – they will buy.
Here are some ideas to get your present customers to buy more – now.
Sell them something new
People love to buy new things. Your enthusiasm will set the tone. Create excitement about how your new (better) product will be exactly what will provide better service or produce more. Sell sizzle, sell appointment, then let them buy.
Sell them an upgrade or an enhancement
Bigger, better, faster. Enhancements and upgrades have kept the computer software industry profitable since its inception. Upselling has built fortunes – just ask any fast food business.
Sell them more of the same in a different place
Look for other uses, other departments, growth or expansion of the customer’s company, or replacement due to wear and tear. You may have to dig a little, but the soil is softer at a present customer’s place of business than the pile of rocks you usually face at a new prospect’s company.
Sell them additional products and services
Your company may sell multiple products or offer varied services, and very few of your customers carry your full line. Sometimes a customer will say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you sold that’. When you hear a customer say that, don’t blame the salesperson – blame the salesperson’s trainer.
Get your customer to meet you for lunch
If you can get the customer out of the office environment, you can often uncover more opportunities to sell (ask them to bring a referral along). Build the relationship, and you build sales.
Get them to give you one referral a month
This is the true report card on the job your product or service has done in performing for your customer, as well as a report card on your ability to gain enough buyer confidence that they will refer you to a friend or business associate.
Give them one referral a month
Getting your customer business will create new thought patterns in the way the customer perceives you. If you get them business, they will find new ways and new people to do the same for you.
Note, no matter whether you make a sale or not, continuing to be in front of your customer builds relationship and goodwill.
If you can’t call on your present customer, or if you come up with some lame excuse like, ‘I’ve sold them everything I can sell them’. What this really means is:
• you have failed to establish enough rapport with the customer;
• you have probably not followed up well (or at all) after the sale;
• your customer had some problem and you’re reluctant to call and open a can of worms;
• you’re in need of more sales and creativity training; and
• you have not developed a proper relationship with the customer.
Most salespeople think a phone call is wasted unless it is to sell a customer something. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m amazed at the salespeople who make a sale, and move on to the next prospect. I challenge you to carefully (and honestly) look at your customer list. I’ll bet there are hundreds of opportunities to sell something.
Personally, I would rather have 100 existing customers to do business with than 1,000 prospects.
Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development.
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