When you read the title of this blog, you might think that sounds a bit blinking obvious. But if it really were that easy, then we’d all be millionaires, right? But what I’m actually referring to isn’t about boosting your lead generation or bringing in loads of new business. It’s more about improving on what you’ve already got.
When people think about marketing and growing a company, the words ‘lead’ and ‘generation’ so often crop up. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on new business. Don’t get me wrong, getting in leads and bringing in new clients is definitely important. But it can also be costly. Keeping your current clients and selling more to them can be a far more cost effective way of boosting business. Yet it’s so often overlooked.
When was the last time you really looked at your client base? Have you explored ways in which you could sell more to your existing clients? They must like you already to be working with you, so what more could you offer them? If you sell more products or services than they buy, have you ever checked to find out if they’re aware of your full product offering?
I have done several customer feedback projects with clients over the years, and I’ve never done one yet where 100% of clients are 100% aware of everything their supplier does. Sometimes feeding this information back to the sales team has enabled them to sell more, just based on the fact that useful conversations were able to be had.
So a great start point is to check what your clients are actually aware of. Could they be using more of your services than they currently are?
It’s also useful to look at past clients. Those who left you. Why did they leave you? Is there anything you can learn? If there are areas of your products or services you could tweak, could you win them back? Or could you keep more clients because you’ve improved things?
Chasing new business can seem terribly exciting. I love putting out new campaigns and tracking lead reports. But often all that hard work could be better utilised looking inward.
If you could improve a few minor areas, sharpen up that customer service, or just get that valuable feedback to know what your clients actually think, you could probably improve sales within the pool of clients you’re already working with. The knock-on effect is that you will probably also retain clients longer when you do have them because everything is better.
It’s very easy just to say things are tough so let’s raise our prices. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But taking a step back, evaluating the market and what you’re actually doing, and finding out really where improvements need to be made will undoubtedly be a much more beneficial task than just blindly raising your prices.
If you’ve found out that clients aren’t fully aware of your entire offering, there are a few easy things you can do. Of course you could phone them up and tell them all about everything you do, but things don’t always sink in straight away. You need to keep telling them.
The first question to ask yourself is how easy is it to find out what my full offering is? If it’s just a list of bullet points, people aren’t going to read it. Many companies bring their product offering to life through an icon or a colourful wheel that puts all of the product or service areas together. How could you highlight it better?
Then what about having a customer newsletter? You could do features across each issue that highlight different parts of your offering. Even if people don’t fully read it, if you have the title as a different part of your offering each month, that’s going to sink in.
Loyalty programmes can work really well too. Rewarding loyalty not only benefits your customers, but it also encourages them to be loyal even more. You can focus on areas they’re not buying from by offering discounts on things they might not be aware of. A lot of shops do this. They never reward you with the things you buy all the time, they try to encourage you to buy different items. And it works!
Word of mouth is also an incredibly powerful tool. We so often look for recommendations before we buy, so make sure at the very least you have testimonials across all of your product or service areas, and case studies if you can too. And then encourage people to write reviews. Happy clients can often be your best sales people.
Don’t always be tempted by the easy wins. They don’t always render the best results. Take a step back and evaluate what you could do and work out the best solution for you. Spending a couple of hours to assess what is actually happening and how you could leverage that could be a far greater use of time than spending five minutes panicking and thinking it’s best to add on £10 to each product.
If you need any support or advice on how to improve customer retention, don’t hesitate to get in touch.