One of the best ways to increase your sales and one that won't cost you a lot or take a huge amount of time is by selling more to your existing customers. This can be a lengthy process and expensive to win over a new customer. between advertising, sales calls, and approvals. With existing customers the process can be much quicker, smoother, and less costly.
Existing customers already know you and what you can do. Your challenge is to learn about additional opportunities within your company, and go after them.
If the cost of sale for an existing customer is so much lower than for a new customer, why don't small companies go after their existing customers more aggressively?
Because they have been conditioned to grow their customer list, and because they simply may not realize the potential that exists in obtaining repeat sales from existing customers.
Bringing in new customers is sometimes more exciting for sales people than expanding sales to existing customers. Don't interpret this to say that small companies shouldn't aggressively go after new customers. The purpose here is to suggest that substantial growth lies in repeat sales to existing customers.
Stay in touch with existing customers to learn their ongoing needs. Inquire into their challenges so as to discover needs they have that you can fulfill. It may be that someone in another department has a problem that one of your company's products or services can solve. It is only by being in touch with customers that you learn about such opportunities.
Try to find up selling opportunities. Not only more of the same, but larger orders and new features. A satisfied customer is a great candidate for expanded sales. The customer has respect for your capabilities and ability to deliver. The customer will listen to your pitch and likely tell you about possible obstacles.
They will probably tell you about their limited budgets or opposition from another department. They might slip you some information about the existence of a competitor. You are then in a position where you can help solve the problem. Perhaps by offering a quantity discount or throwing in some additional service that will convince others in your company that you should provide more of your products or services.
Let existing customers know when you come out with a new product or service. Regardless of whether they buy, they can provide feedback and may become buyers for the new product down the road.
Seek out leads from existing customers. They can often provide referrals to others in their companies or to individuals associated with other firms they do business with. It always helps in soliciting a prospect to be referred by someone the prospect respects. Existing customers represent a potential gold mine. Not only for the present, but for helping expand your company's future.
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Abe Cherian is the founder of Multiple Stream Media, a leading performance-based Internet advertising company dedicated in helping small businesses create online presence, brand recognition and online automation. Main company web site: http://www.multiplestreammktg.com
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