Did you know that research shows that in service-based businesses, approximately 25% of new business should come from a company’s existing clients? Yet business people commonly forget to market their offerings to existing customers, leaving them neglected while they chase new clients. And make no mistake, while you’re not talking to your existing clients, your competitors are.
I believe that if you spend more effort on marketing yourself to your existing clients, you’ll not only get more business from them, you will also increase their loyalty toward you and they’ll be more likely to recommend you to other people. That’s why we need to learn how to effectively market our services to current clients and how to nurture and build existing relationships to increase loyalty and trust, which will allow us to maximise business with the clients we already have and retain relationships with them forever.
Marketing is a contact sport
I’ve put together a few helpful pointers for you to remember that will assist you in marketing to existing clients. Firstly, keep in mind that marketing is a contact sport. I say this time and time again because it’s true! I recommend that you make contact with your client at least every 30 days to make sure you stay top of mind. And I don’t mean a one-line email. You need to consistently ensure that your presence creates value for the client.
Face-to-face meetings are a great tool. Ask yourself how many of your email interactions you could replace with a personal phone call or face-to-face meeting, which is an effective way to build a personal relationship with your clients.
Make sure that you understand your client’s business. By learning more about your client and their problems, you are able to set yourself up better to show how you can assist in solving challenges with the services you offer.
Ensure your client understands what other services you offer and how you add value. You will be more likely to get more business from existing clients if they are aware of your full range of services and have an understanding of the value you can offer their business.
Review your activities with your client on an ongoing basis. There are a number of mechanisms you can use, such as client satisfaction audits and client reviews. Use these as an opportunity to further market your and your company’s expertise.
Ask for a referral – when they’re happy
Make sure your client is 100% happy before asking for a referral. If they are not, don’t go any further. If they are happy, explain that part of the way you grow your business is through referrals and ask if they would be willing to refer you to anyone they know who might benefit from your services. If they agree to do so and offer you contact details for a potential lead, ask if they would be willing to call that person to let them know to expect a call from you. In this way, you not only change a cold call into a ‘warm call’ – you are also getting your client to talk about you to the lead. Essentially your client has become a brand ambassador for your business.
Whatever happens with the referral lead, make sure that you let your client know and thank him or her for their assistance. This not only shows your appreciation, but is another opportunity to interact with your client.
It’s difficult to find new business and I believe that while we should always seek new clients, we should also remember to look first to existing clients. Market yourself to them not only to sell more service, but to increase their levels of loyalty to you. In the process, you will also ensure they become active salespeople for your personal brand.
Donna Rachelson is a business and marketing innovator with a passion for building personal and business brands.