Most of the time when people think about lead generation and making new sales, they think about reaching out to new prospects and finding new customers. However, this is short-sighted! You don’t always have to go chasing after new customers to get bigger sales. One of the best sources of business opportunities for your company is already right in front of you: your existing customers.
New business often has a reputation for being fun and seductive and exciting, but what if you could get the same or better sales results just by improving your sales processes for getting repeat business from current customers? After all, repeat sales pay the same dollars as new customers, right? Your bank account doesn’t care whether the money came from a new client or a longtime loyal customer.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your repeat sales from current customers:
Find Your Niche: There’s an old saying in business that “the customer is always right,” but this is not always true – not every customer is going to be “right” for you. Some of the most successful businesses are experts at finding exactly the right type of customer that is the ideal fit for what they offer. If you’re good at finding your niche and serving just the right customers – even if that means turning away business from people who aren’t quite the right fit – you will be primed to get amazing levels of repeat sales. Your customers will feel at home and will understand your processes and everyone will be well aligned. Customers will want to keep buying from you if they feel appreciated and understood.
Deliver an Exceptional Experience: Once you know your niche, it’s time to go above and beyond to deliver an amazing customer experience. What can you do to provide outstanding customer service, make your customers feel loved, and otherwise give them a comfortable concierge-type experience? The best customers are less price sensitive than you might think – even in the B2B world, price is not usually the most important factor in the buying decision. People will pay more for a great customer experience, whether that means responsive tech support, quick turnaround time, guarantees in case of repairs, or more.
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Offer Loyalty Rewards: We’ve all seen the “Buy 10, Get One Free” punch cards at coffee shops and restaurants – why not find something similar that you can do for your repeat customers? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but maybe you can offer a discount for a certain number or volume of repeat purchases? Offer a surprise bonus for customers who always pay their bills promptly. Give someone a little thank-you gift for being such a great customer who makes your life easier. Be creative! There are lots of ways to show your appreciation that don’t cost a lot of money.
Celebrate: Every long marriage has many milestones that people celebrate – wedding anniversaries, 10th and 20th and 40th and 50th anniversaries! These are occasions to reflect upon the years and be grateful for the good times shared together. In the same way, why not celebrate your “anniversaries” with some of your best customers? A long-standing business relationship in today’s fast-paced, competitive world is truly something to be proud of. Ask your customers for permission of course, but you could publicize your “customer anniversaries” on social media! Just to say thank you in a very public way and let people know that your business values loyalty and that loyalty goes both ways.
Make the Ask: People often think of sales as being a game of pursuing new business, building new relationships, getting to know new people – but why not take some of those same sales skills and direct it toward your current customer base? Lots of your current customers might be happy to keep buying from you, but you’re not asking them. So take time to reach out! Get on the phone and spend an hour each week calling your current customers to check in, see how things are going, see how their needs might have changed, and ask for the sale!
Getting repeat business is not rocket science! In fact, it’s often easier and more cost-effective to earn repeat business from an existing customer than it is to go out and find a new customer. Think of all the costs involved with new client acquisition: marketing, advertising, time, opportunity cost…meanwhile, you have a wonderful foundation of customers who already know your business, who already know who you are, who (hopefully) have enjoyed working with you and who might have an urgent business need that requires your help! So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and get those repeat sales rolling in.