If you and your team have been encountering some difficulties while trying to drum up new prospective clients, you’re definitely not alone. Sales analysts report that the current economic climate has companies in virtually every industry holding on tight to their budgets and keeping a very close eye on capital expenditures.
Cold calling and prospect hunting are never easy tasks, and in the current circumstances, they’re proving to be even tougher than usual for many VARs and other players in the IT sales space. Even though it’s important to keep a constant flow of new prospects moving into the sales funnel, it may be more effective in the short-term to focus a greater proportion of your sales resources on a proven source of revenue—namely, your past and current clients.
Although the same economic challenges that have left new prospects leery have also impacted your loyal customers, there’s one crucial difference—you’ve already crossed the hurdle of establishing rapport and building trust with your current client base. That means that many of the time- and resource-intensive tasks that often bog down your initial interactions with new prospects can often be minimized when you’re dealing with someone who already knows you.
Are you looking for a few ways to cash in on your base of loyal clients? Use these tips to make the most of the relationships you’ve already worked hard to establish.
Uncover up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. When it comes to boosting your revenue, no technique is more effective in terms of ROI than up-selling and cross-selling to your existing client base. Never enter into final negotiations without at least two or three up-sell and cross-sell options at the ready.
Tap into synergistic marketing strategies with partner firms. During times of economic duress, trust is more important than ever. That means that referrals, recommendations, and networking opportunities are worth their weight in gold right now. Capitalize on your working relationships with partner firms both within and outside your own industry to offer mutual referral discount programs to your current customer base.
Reconnect with indecisive or out-of-touch clients. Do you have regular clients who you haven’t heard from in several years? A file folder full of carefully cultivated deals that wound up going nowhere? Now is the time to reactivate these relationships. Chances are, you’ve already done most of the heavy lifting in terms of establishing trust and building a relationship, so why not capitalize on your shared history and make that not-so-cold call today?
Make it worth their while to opt in. Nothing solidifies your client base like customer loyalty rewards. Develop a menu of special promotional offers designed to entice current, inactive, or past customers back into the fold. Loyalty discounts and reduced rates for long-term service contracts are another effective way to help move inactive clients back into the active column.
How are your existing clients figuring into your strategy for weathering the current economic storm? Do you have any favorite tips for boosting revenue by tapping into your base of established customers? Pitch in with your ideas in the comments.