Do You Sell To Previous Clients?
Carrying on our little series Managing your Business Revenue this article wants you to think about, what is it exactly that you are doing to continue to sell to your current clients? If you are reading this, thinking “I don’t do anything to actively sell to my current clients”, you are not alone, many of the businesses that we come across during or working week are in the same boat with many of them thinking “We do a good job, of course our customers will come back to us if they need anything else”. Is this a healthy approach to ensure you are getting the most from your client base? No!!
It is true, you are only as good as your last job, so it stands to reason that if the last job was a good one then you have nothing to worry about, right? Wrong! There is another factor that you must keep front of your mind and that is the human mind, more exactly the memory. Think about the last time you received fantastic service, received a great product from a polite and knowledgeable staff member, how did you feel at the time? How many people did you tell about it shortly afterwards and do you still talk about it with the same enthusiasm now? To the last question the chances are you don’t, why, because time dilutes emotions and it is for this very reason that it is essential that you keep in front of your clients minds, how do we do this? We practice sales farming
Sales farming or farming the client base is a practice that I developed many years ago as a key account manager for a communications company and has five stages to it (check out my a previous article on this subject).
- Plough the Fields – Research the company(s) that you intend to call upon, what have you already sold them? Who is the key decision maker? What plans do they have for the business this year? Have they diversified in any way since you last talked to them? Is there any additional products or services that you now have that compliment what they have already bought from you?
- Sow the Seed – Arrange a meeting with them, have an objective for the meeting, find out what the business’s plans are, introduce a new product or service that you may have or meet the new purchasing officer. Whatever you do, do not waste their time or yours by going to a meeting without a purpose!
- Nurture the Crop – Follow up on the previous meeting, ensure you fulfil any promises that you have made. It is at this is the point in the cycle that you prepare quotes and continue the process of educating the client.
- Harvest the Crop – You get the clients commitment to purchase your product or service, again you make sure you meet your clients expectations around delivery and quality of product or service.
- Plough the Fields – Follow through with the client after they have received the product or service, make sure they are happy, if they are not, what can you do to change this and get any feedback you can from the client about their experience buying from you and your business.