Every business worth its salt is very concerned about growth. Unfortunately specifically SME’s can not pay the big bucks required to afford world-class sales staff. Good news: you don’t have to, if you already have existing customers. You have to do only one thing: Follow up.
When people think about sales, they think about new prospects, referrals, new leads, marketing etc. Too often one of the most likely potential leads is forgotten: your existing customers. Existing customers have already bought from you. They are already familiar with your sales process, your products and services. And they had been convinced enough to sign on the dotted line and give you the order. Hence your barrier to sell additional products to them is significantly lower than selling to new prospects. Why not just go back to you existing customer base and sell to them?
Unless you have a very unique one-time use only product (like an undertaker) you will most likely be able to continuously sell products to an existing customer. For example, if you sell dog food, you can be assured that every single customer who bought dog food from you before will have to buy dog food again. Why not make a real effort to stay in touch with those customers, update them about promotions, give them the equivalent of frequent flier miles, special deals, etc.? You already know that they need dog food, all you have to do is to make sure they buy it from you instead of the competition.
If you sell websites or any other IT solutions, try to find a way to provide ongoing maintenance. This way you not only have continuous revenue, but you are also always up-to-date on potential changing requirements of your existing customers, and you can provide additional solutions as and when required. And because you have a better knowledge of the customer as a new entrant, you should be able to continuously sell into your existing customer base.
The same is true for almost any other business. Customers will continue to buy TV’s, phones, DVD’s. Even if you have a hardware shop, you will have repeat customers.
No matter what your business is, it pays huge dividends to simply stay in touch with your existing customers. Follow up with them: are they happy? Do they need anything else that you might be able to provide? Do they know of anyone else that could use your product / service?
The solution to building a sustainable, growing business is simple:
1. Have a great product / service.
2. Ensure you have a satisfied customer.
3. Follow up with that customer to get additional business and referrals for new customers.
Most businesses stop at point 2. Sadly, many businesses even stop at point 1: they have a great product or service, but they fail to follow through with the customer until the customer is 100% satisfied. Really happy customers are your best sales people, and make the easiest prospects for follow-up sales. All you need to do is to continuously follow up with your existing customers, and don’t just ignore them once the initial sale is over.