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:
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.
3 Steps To Healthier Client Relationships
Do you have clients that constantly push the boundaries, who have unrealistic expectations and inconsistent feedback? What if you could have a client base of only people who value your work? Firing the wrong clients can help you get there.
It’s not easy to admit that a client is actually doing your business more harm than good. When it gets to the point that you are spending all of your time and energy trying to please one client, then it’s time to look at what they are contributing to your success.
In the early days of your business, it’s understandable to hold on to difficult clients as every penny counts. However, as time goes on, firing a disproportionately time-consuming and challenging client could free you up to go looking for new and better business.
Here are three steps to take to healthier client relationships:
1. Get perspective
Step back from everyday tasks to make some notes about the client relationship in question. Ask yourself what you value in your client versus what drains your energy and puts you in a bad mood.
Understand what the deal-breakers are and whether the client in question has crossed the line. It’s possible that you just need to have a frank conversation with the client, but often these kinds of client relationships are too far gone.
2. Fire the wrong client
There’s no one-size-fits-all for this process – you have to do this in your own way, but be clear on the reasons. If the client has been as unhappy as you are, they will most likely understand that this relationship is not a good fit.
However, there are times when a client has no idea that they are being unreasonable or thinks that this relationship is productive. That’s when it’s difficult to explain why you are deciding not to take their money.
Make it factual and don’t bring in your feelings. If you have examples of situations or email threads as proof show them that this is not how you believe a successful relationship should be. Be clear on your values and what you envision for your business.
Be polite and professional throughout the conversation and focus on the relationship fit, rather than pointing out their personal flaws. Explain the next steps and how the handover process will take place. You want to make sure that the end of the relationship is as amicable as possible.
3. Find the right clients
Firing a difficult client is likely to affect your bottom line in the short term but it will give you the motivation, and headspace, to go looking for the right clients.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you know what you want in a client – make a list of things you won’t stand for again with future clients, and one that describes your dream client.
- Use your time and resources wisely, and aim high to secure clients that will be worth your while.
- Identify potential clients and projects that are profitable, that will inspire you and that you enjoy working with.
Tip: make sure the Terms and Conditions on your website, and in your quotes, are well-defined. State your prices clearly, don’t leave room for interpretation. Don’t back down if a new client quibbles over a cost estimate. Take complaints of this nature as a warning sign and walk away.
Don’t ever think that you’ve wasted your time with the wrong client. Each client you work with helps you to refine your offering and progressively understand what you’re good at. Firing a client is never easy, but sometimes it’s a necessity for the successful and sustainable future of your business (and your sanity).
When you fire the wrong client, you can streamline your business to play to these strengths, and ensure you offer a world-class service or product.
7 Steps To Master The 80/20 Revenue Model
Imagine a world where 80% of your revenue came from 20% of your customers. Now what will it take to make it your reality?
We are often so focused on new leads that we forget to master the art of upselling and cross-selling. To generate more income from existing customers you need to focus on quality over quantity, and be strategic in your approach. Here are seven steps to help you on your way.
Understand what you want to achieve
When you upsell, you encourage customers to buy a higher-end product or service than the one in question – such as an airplane seat with more leg room. Whereas cross-selling tempts customers to buy related products that satisfy additional, complementary needs. A simple example is when you check out of an online store and the shop tempts you to buy similar or complementary products that you suddenly just can’t live without!
Tip: Identify which one makes sense in your business, and what the additional or complementary offering will be.
Long-standing relationships and loyal clients are worth their weight in gold. Make sure they know they will remain a priority, even when you are busy with bigger or more profitable projects.
Constantly over-deliver and exceed expectations. Make yourself ‘irreplaceable’.
Don’t presume you know what your customers want or need – do your homework and ask them. You need to understand their hopes, dreams, fears and challenges. Three simple ways to do this are to:
- set up regular one-on-one calls
- catch up over coffee
- or email them a quick survey to complete.
Add real value
Ask yourself, ‘how can I help this client achieve their goals or overcome this challenge?’ You need to find ways to add real value to make the additional expense worthwhile. Also make sure your pricing is fair and competitive, without selling yourself short.
For example, one of the products we cross-sell at Yellow Door is video content. It’s a key part of a holistic marketing strategy and is a great way to bolster content for launches, social media and newsletters.
Paint a picture
To excel at upselling and cross-selling, you need to help customers visualise the value they will get from the higher-priced item. Whether it’s a 30-second video, an infographic, or a well worded email – take the time to explain not only what the product is, but how it will benefit them or their business.
Offering a reward or incentive can increase your upsell or cross-sell conversion rate. For example, offer free shipping or a discount if the client purchases two or more products or services.
Ensure your team has the expertise and capacity to deliver the relevant service or product at the right standard. Alternatively, find a non-competing service provider to complement your offering and agree on a referral or commission structure. This way you can expand your offering without increasing your overheads.
The key to success is to understand what your customers value and then respond with products, services or features that meet those needs.
Empower Your Team To Make More Sales
The answer is not simple. However Leadify’s CEO, Grant Fleming shares several strategies that can help.
Much like the business cliché that your company is only as strong as its people, in marketing, behind every successful marketing campaign there is an empowered team. But how do you help your team increase their sales?
The answer is not simple. However Leadify’s CEO, Grant Fleming shares several strategies that can help:
1. Become clever at dealing with data
It is essential that teams have the right platform at their disposal to reach the agreed-to goals. Teams also need to become more adept at dealing with data to learn about their customers. Teams should segment data, send marketing messages and receive instant feedback to learn from. They should also optimise their messages and dig into the demographics of their audience.
2. Curate your audience
The above enables teams to curate, and continuously engage with their audience. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is focusing their communication to a base, instead of cultivating an audience through learning from insights and feedback. This doesn’t foster an incentive to learn anything from one week or one campaign to the next. Teams end up sending out an email/SMS blast one week after another, with the same results.
3. Market more smartly
Rather than marketing ‘harder’, teams should be marketing smarter. There are a few ways to do this. Given teams have the appropriate automated marketing tools at their disposal, they can automate certain repetitive activities so that they continue to learn while the system executes.
Teams are also best served by breaking down their goals into measurable insights and build logical marketing lists (data lists) rather than lumping everything into one list. Often, splitting data by its original source works well, but so does sectioning lists according to category.
Consider using “Remarketing” for the direct marketing space too. This is similar to AdWords marketing, where teams ‘slice and dice’ their data, and insights about engaged audiences are retargeted using the platform.
The other options is “Long Run” campaigns. Here a campaign is live over a longer period of time, essentially establishing a level of cadence for direct marketing efforts.
4. Do lean marketing
To empower your team, adopt a lean marketing process. This sees teams marketing in small batches, sending e.g. 2000 SMSs, reviewing the results, then another 2000, and then tweaking the marketing message if needed.
By sending five different marketing messages, your marketing teams will be able to whittle down to the top two that returned the best results, and then scale them up.
This, rather than just sending a million SMSs (for example) to your entire database, is a lean marketing approach that can help your team incrementally improve their efforts for an optimal return.
5. Value testing and metrics
Both testing and metrics are critical to helping your marketing team become more successful, with A/B testing in particular critical for learning.
When you tweak campaigns, resist the urge to make larger changes; these make it difficult to measure results. Rather do small-batch testing, even if it is just from your newsletters. Try and bleed the marketing messages out over a logical timeframe – don’t just blast out to the entire list in one go.
Regarding metrics, concentrate not only on the number of messages sent, but clicks and click-through rates as well as conversions, even if the latter happens down the line. Understanding these metrics across demographics is equally important, as this allows you to curate audiences that you can personalise marketing to.
Entrepreneur Profiles2 weeks ago
8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion
Technology2 weeks ago
3 Things Africa Must Get Right If It Wants To Leapfrog Into The 4th Industrial Revolution
Lessons Learnt3 days ago
What Comfort Zones? Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable Says Co-Founder Of Curlec: Zac Liew
Business Landscape1 week ago
How Schindlers Attorneys Became Involved In The Landmark Cannabis Case
Branding2 weeks ago
Why You Should Prioritise Brand Image
Get Organised6 days ago
How To Multitask Like Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg And Other Very Busy People
Increasing Productivity2 weeks ago
Take Responsibility For Your Company’s Culture To Boost Productivity
Entrepreneur Today3 days ago
AlphaCode Awards R16 Million To Fintech Start-ups In One Of SA’s Richest Start-up Initiatives