Written by Sean McPheat |
4 February, 2020
Who would you rather talk to? A new person who you haven’t met before, or a close friend?
Who do you trust more? A salesperson you’ve never seen trying to sell you something you’ve never bought, or someone you’ve known for some time and with whom you have great rapport.
Who would you rather sell to? Someone who has never heard of you, or an existing customer who knows you, your products and your reputation?
You don’t need me to answer those questions.
Many times, we meet salespeople who are struggling to meet their targets and are trying desperately to gain more sales, sometimes through cold-calling. When we ask how they are developing sales opportunities with existing customers who already know their products and services, often they say that market is saturated and there’s no more business available.
However, there are many ways that you can help existing customers to build their profitability and productivity, and sometimes we forget these customers are a rich vein of opportunities that are missed because we don’t want to pressurise them too much.
That’s understandable, though false reasoning. Think about it….who would your loyal customers rather do business with? You (who they know, like and trust) or a new company (who they have never used before)?
You can see the reasoning here.
Here are just a few ideas that may help:
1) Check those products in your portfolio that customers should buy from you but aren’t
They must be buying those products from someone, so where are they getting them from? Check out what your customer could be buying more of from you.
2) Expand your relationships within the customer account
Your buyer may be the only one you see, but what about other departments? Could there be other people who are able to sign off orders for your products whom you haven’t met yet?
3) Identify opportunities your customer is missing in the market-place
If you were to become a consultant to their business instead of simply selling products, you become more valuable to them and are able to discuss more opportunities for advancing their sales, hence increasing their orders from you.
4) Build the relationship outside of the sales cycle
If the only time you are in contact with your customer is when you are trying to sell them something, you will be no different to your competitors. How about discussing marketing strategies for their business, or helping them to expand their sales processes elsewhere in their markets? By being there for them when you’re not trying to sell products, you become an advisor to them in areas they hadn’t been successful before.
5) Find out who their customers are
Can they expand their market? Can they sell more of what you sell to their customers? You can help them recognise these market gaps, so they need more of what you have.
6) Build your aftersales support processes
If you can be supportive with the aftersales support you offer, you create more reasons for your customer to buy more from you, as the back-up you offer makes them more successful in their sales operations. Always see your back up as another arrow in your quiver of support.
7) Identify your competitors who your customer is using
There will always be reasons why your existing customers go elsewhere for similar products to yours. Find out who they use for products you have in your armoury, and see how you could be in the frame to tender or quote for more sales.
8) View your existing customers in the same way as a new, hot lead
With a new prospect, you have a process you follow where you contact, follow up, qualify, discuss needs and so on. Do not neglect your existing customers when it comes to doing the same things. Identify areas where they might be falling short and help your existing customers to build their business, just as you would a new customer.
9) Play the role of a consultant
Prospects know what you’re trying to do when you discuss opportunities with them; you’re trying to sell them your stuff and have them as a customer.
You don’t need to do that with an existing customer. Instead, be a real asset to their business, helping them as a consultant would in areas in which they feel they could improve.
10) Be the kind of supplier they would wish to contact without feeling pressured
When you get a call from an existing customer asking for advice or wanting to tap your knowledge for extra information, you know you have got their trust and have built a good reputation. By becoming the supplier they contact, instead of you having to constantly be harassing for more business, you’ll see the sales opportunities naturally fall into place, as the customer trusts you and your advice for future sales.
There are many more opportunities for you to advance and sell more products to existing customers then there ever will with new prospects, so start preparing your marketing processes with these ten tips and see how your sales start flowing without pressure.
Would you like to learn more? Here at MTD we offer 1 or 2 day Customer Relationship Management Training for sales teams.