Don’t Sell, Engage!

A previous article in Sales Initiative magazine reported that 75% of businesses are missing out on potential business from existing clients.

While it’s undoubtedly important to strive to expand your client base and gain new customers, the only way to ensure sustained growth is to allocate at least part of your sales activities to existing clients.

By focusing on existing clients, not only are your challenges as a sales person reduced (you’ve already sold to them once, it can only get easier), but your client feels valued as a customer. Win, win!

So how does engaging with existing clients help to increase your sales?

The key thing to remember is that you are not selling to your clients, you are engaging with them. Every conversation you have should be about them: are they happy with the service they’re getting? Is there anything they expected that they haven’t received?

Having a genuine conversation with a client can be informative and rewarding. As well as you think you know your client, there’s a good chance they don’t know much about you: are they aware of all your offerings? Is there anything new you could share with them? Do any of your products/ services support or compliment what they already use you for? Cross-selling is a fantastic opportunity to increase the value of an order: Client X has ordered toner, so why not offer them printer paper? Client Y has been using your company for software development, but do they know you also provide IT security?

The initial order from a client is unlikely to reflect their total requirement. Any purchasing decision is susceptible to a level of risk, therefore many clients may play it safe by ordering the minimum they require. Regular reviews of usage and requirements can result in selling higher volumes or higher value units.

The techniques outlined above, while traditional sales methods, are more about account management than selling. As a low cost, low risk method of increasing sales as well as providing great quality service to your clients, account management should be part of every sales strategy.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you get most of your business from repeat customers or are you focused on getting new business?

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