In sales, chasing down new leads and hunting for new business is the most obvious way to boost sales. But it’s not necessarily the smartest approach for winning more sales.
In fact, most salespeople can get so caught up in looking for new customers that they totally ignore their greatest asset – their existing clients.
Sometimes, the single best way to make more sales is to leverage your relationships with people you’ve already done business with. Sounds pretty simple, right? Not so fast.
Most salespeople have tons of existing clients they haven’t spoken to in months – or even years. For one reason or another, these customers will disengage from you over time. But the trick is to keep those relationships alive in the first place. Luckily, there are several ways to do just that.
Check out these seven easy strategies for engaging (and re-engaging) your existing customers – so you can crush your sales goals and find new business in the process:
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1. Call with a purpose
Your clients are busy – and so are you – so don’t waste your time or theirs by calling up an existing customer to casually check in. Instead, bring value to your clients by telling them about a new product or service. When you call with a purpose, your clients will appreciate your taking the time to reconnect.
2. Take them out to eat
What one trait does every single customer of yours have in common? They all have to eat sometime. Clients love being treated to breakfast or lunch. Even the most unavailable and hard-to-reach clients will suddenly respond to your messages when you offer to take them out for a meal.
3. Send them a birthday card
With social media, it’s easier than ever to find out someone’s birthday – but that doesn’t mean your competitors are using this to their advantage. In some cases, you may find that you’re the only person to send clients a birthday card, aside from their mothers. A birthday card is a quick and powerful way to go the extra mile and engage your current customers.
Related: The Sales That Really Count
4. Send them a note
Many salespeople rely solely on phone calls and emails to communicate with their customers. Instead, drop a relevant article or book in the mail with an accompanying handwritten note.
Something as simple as, “Hey, John, this article made me think of you,” or “I thought you’d really enjoy this book,” can quickly engage your clients and keep you at the forefront of their minds.
5. Ask for referrals and introductions
Reach out to existing clients and ask them for referrals and introductions. This is a great opportunity to re-engage clients you haven’t connected with in a while, and get them thinking about all the great outcomes they’ve enjoyed from working with you.
It might be an added bonus that you’ll walk away with some great leads for new prospects as a result.
6. Ask for feedback
Some salespeople make the mistake of believing they always have to be seen as the expert when talking to a customer. Instead, try getting your clients’ insights on their industry.
Ask thoughtful questions about what they see changing. You’ll strengthen your relationship and gain valuable insights on best practices in the process.
7. Invite them to exclusive events
Inviting your best customers – and even a handful of your top prospects – to come together at a private event that you host twice a year is the absolute best way to engage existing clients, while finding new ones.
Choose a nice hotel or restaurant that reinforces the idea that this is exclusive treatment for your best customers.
In growing my Sales Strategy Academy, no one technique has been more valuable to our business. Add value by sharing useful industry insights you’ve learned from your bird’s-eye view of what’s going on in their world. There’s no more powerful way to boost sales than having your existing clients tell prospects first-hand how great your product or service is, so ask everyone in your network for introductions to people who might want to come.
For more tips on how to throw an amazing client event, check out this video:
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.