Sometimes businesses focus much of their marketing efforts on new customer acquisition. Whilst this is important, there are often valuable new business leads and easier to convert opportunities left untapped within their existing customer base.
Additional work generated from existing customers can be more profitable and can attract a lower cost of sale. The learning curve you have already established with a client can also give you a competitive advantage to defend your offering against rivals.
So, if you are currently planning a marketing or business development drive, check first that your plans are making the most of your current client base – nurturing and converting all the opportunities it represents.
Use this checklist as the basis of a plan for the months ahead.
1. Do customers only see us as offering one area of expertise, service or product line? If so, consider broadening their knowledge of what you do through your communications with them, targeted relevant case studies or sample offers. Consider also introducing them to other customers who choose your business for different things. Remember that case studies, stories and examples register in people’s minds more than ‘sales speak’ or lists of products or services. 2. Do we fully understand what is going on in that customer’s world? If not, invest time finding that out and keep current with the issues affecting their business/lives. Certain issues may in fact point to areas your expertise or other avenues where you can offer help. 3. If customers seem happy with our approach, are we encouraging them to review us, recommend others to us, or share testimonials which in turn influence others to use us? If not, then consider introducing incentives to encourage them to recommend others or ask them (especially at the end of projects successfully completed by your team) if they know of other people or organisations who may benefit from this approach. 4. Are we actively planning to help our loyal customers over and above what we currently do for them? If not, then start to think more carefully about those customers who are hugely valuable to your business and plan how you could help them. The more support and value you can deliver, the more likely they are to keep using you. Think more widely about your customers and the people they reflect. Support their interests and goals and work to make their lives easier and better. 5. Are we rewarding the loyalty of our customers? If not, then calculate the cost of acquisition of a new client and see if you need to reapportion your budget to create activities or approaches which reward and encourage loyalty and repeat purchasing.
Releasing the new business potential in your existing client shouldn’t be about hounding customers with sales push after-sales push. Instead, it comes from understanding them and how you can better support and add value. It is also dependent on delivering a great client experience and subtly educating them on the ways you help others in similar situations to theirs. For more advice on marketing your business contact us or tel. 01483 429111.