<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Alternative Board Blog

The One Place Your Next Client Could Be Hiding

Dec. 7, 2020 | Posted by Jodie Shaw

When it comes to growing a business, most people look to bringing in new clients, landing a major contract or getting a new sale. What about your focus on existing customers?

Your existing customers are your most probable (and most times the most profitable) source of new business. More often than not, most businesses don’t take advantage of this resource for growing their business and profits.

When you look at a company, most will have a sales department, with lots of measurements surrounding new business gained. When a new client joins a company, there is usually some celebration, and the feeling that the company is on track to more growth.

However, what about your existing clients and customers? When was the last time you really mined your database for new business opportunities? Getting leads in your business will be one of the more expensive ways to grow your business. Marketing is an essential part of your company’s growth. In fact, a real indication of the health of an organization is repeat transactions and referral.

If you have a company, where customers buy from you often and rave about what you do, your business will thrive and grow – with smaller dependence on new sales.

Do you know how many times on average someone will buy from you in their lifetime with you? Do you know on average, what the average transaction value of a customer's relationship with your company is? Do you know the likelihood of a customer referring business your way?

It has been said many times in business, what you don’t measure, won’t change. Imagine if your business placed as much importance on measurements like Number of Transactions, Average Dollar Sale Per Client and Number of Referrals Per Customer as it does new business? What would happen to your business as a result?

Why you should always look inwards, before outwards, when marketing …

Marketing can be expensive. If you cannot say with 100% certainty, that if I invest $X in marketing, I will get Y amount of new business – then you may want to tighten up your sales and marketing processes before starting any new campaigns.

Really analyzing what happens to a lead when it enters your sales pipeline, will help with fixing some conversion gaps you may have. You may find that a salesperson has developed a unique sales process that helps with conversion. You might find that one part of the sales process is redundant. This careful analysis will take time, however while you are doing that, I would hazard a guess that you will have some business development opportunity available within your own database.

How often do you speak with your database, both passively and actively?

Passive tactics are promoted to the entire database with little to no personalization. Marketing tactics like e-newsletters, email drip campaigns and social media updates, are what I call passive marketing. They are built to keep your brand top of mind.

Active communication is more personalized. For example, it could be call-cycling or up-sell campaigns. They take into account the last purchase, or information contained in the database, and highly personalizes the communication with the concept of inviting them to re-engage with the brand, usually through purchase.

A big role of marketing is to establish trust. People do business with those they know, like and trust. With existing customers, they already know you (and, if you have been doing a great job, like and trust you as well). They represent a higher-probability of buying again. You know they bought your product in the past, and may be open to purchasing again, referring or purchasing for a friend.

Another great reason to market to your existing database, is because the cost (in most situations) is lower than acquiring a new client.

How do you get more business from existing customers?

First of all, you need something that they want to buy. It might be a product or service they have bought before, one they will be willing to buy again or buy for someone else. In these instances it is a matter of communicating to the database of customers, reminding them, it is time to buy again or incentivizing them to buy again now versus later. If you have a database that keeps track of purchase date, you might want to remind them it has been X months since they last purchased. Alternatively, you might want to remind them that your widget makes a great gift for the holidays. You may have a product or service, they may not know about – which is a natural “upgrade”.

To encourage more referrals, you might want to develop a simple referral program – in which you reward your client for referring business your way. You may want to allow your better clients to refer a friend in return for something they value for free, or offer a referral discount. Sometimes, the best referrals are simply asking for a referral (and if you get one, to reward your client unexpectedly for their loyalty with a highly personalized gift that will have them raving again about your company).

Start with a very simple plan (like the one above), with a handful of tactics to implement, focused on your Top 20% of customers. You may categorize your clients differently, however typically these would be the clients who make you the most profit.

New business development for most businesses is the single key to overall growth. As a result many business owners are riding a rollercoaster of ups and downs when it comes to growth and cashflow. If you are not looking at your existing database as a potential gold mine for new business, you are leaving money on the table.

For your 2021 business plan, make sure you include strategies and tactics that increase loyalty, average transaction and referral. Your business will only prosper as a result.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Jodie Shaw

Jodie is responsible for growing the brand internationally and helping TAB Business Owners attract new TAB Members in their local markets.

Related posts

5 Ways To Show Customer Appreciation This Holiday Season & Year Round
Nov. 30, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
While showing your appreciation for your customers should be a year-round activity, the holidays are a particularly fantastic time to express gratitude to those who support your company. Never...
3 Customer Service Hacks That Will Keep Them Coming Back
Nov. 23, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Great customer service is one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction and retention. Customers care about the treatment they receive from a business - and how that engagement makes them feel...
How to Improve Website Traffic Conversion
Aug. 23, 2022 | Posted by Boris Kimelman
Advertising prices are steadily rising and the measurability of advertising tools is eroding. Brands are currently operating in a state of blindness, so it is important for business owners to...
Quick and Easy Way to Maintain an Active LinkedIn Presence
May. 27, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
LinkedIn is a mainstay social media platform for business owners and professionals. No news flash there. But while most of us understand that having an engaging LinkedIn presence can bring tremendous...
Tips For Improving Your Networking Skills This Spring
Apr. 19, 2022 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Love it or hate it, networking is essential for business growth and success. It’s often the bane of existence for many business owners that I work with. But if done right, you can take the hassle of...
How Social Media Can Drive Product Innovation
Apr. 15, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board TAB
The process of product innovation has, for some time, relied upon a cadre of forward-thinkers within an organization, and/or soliciting input from customer surveys and focus groups. These methods...
When a Business Owner Wears a Selling Hat
Mar. 4, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
If you are like most business owners of small or mid-sized businesses, there are times you must put on your Selling Hat. When you put on that Selling Hat, your mindset needs to change to one of “What...
How to Thank Customers for Supporting Your Business
Feb. 24, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board
These days, after what seems an eternity of business restrictions due to Covid-19, companies are rightfully grateful for returning customers, and new prospects willing to give their business a...
Use Customer Feedback to Pivot Your Business
Nov. 17, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The global pandemic has prompted a wide range of businesses to pivot and repurpose their products and services in new ways. Changing market conditions often mandate that businesses evolve (whether...
5 Ways To Manage A Remote Sales Team
Nov. 5, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Sales leaders have struggled with managing remote sales teams even before the pandemic. Today, with an increasing number of organizations moving partially or fully remote, the need to put practices...