Of any part of the sales process that you may be interested in, existing leads are usually considered far more promising than newly generated ones. Leads with previous sales on the record, and potential leads that come from existing customers, usually convert at a far greater rate than all-new leads.
Existing customers can be promising for a number of reasons, prominent among which is the possibility that, with an established relationship in place, businesses tend to have the inside track on an upsell or a cross-sell. According to NowBlitz.com, a major resource in the marketing industry, these methods can ensure effective ways of tapping an existing business relationship.
Not many businesses take advantage of the possibilities
Many companies try their best to avoid having to tap the upsell/cross-sell method for the simple reason that they see it as difficult. They are embarrassed about the awkwardness involved in having to bother a client without adequate cause.
While awkwardness is certainly a possibility, though, it’s important to understand where it comes from. Use of the wrong method, rather than the attempt to upsell or cross-sell is usually to blame. In most cases, resistance from sales teams tends to come about not for reasons of propriety, but for simple lack of training. Awkwardness is nonexistent in the b2b field, for repeated attempts to extend a business relationship are considered normal, so people representing businesses usually do not see repeated calls as intrusive.
For instance, if you’ve done business with a b2b customer once, it’s perfectly legitimate to believe you could extend the relationship to other departments, branches or subsidiaries.
Listening to the customer isn’t just something you do just to get a word in edgewise about a new product. Rather, it’s something you do to identify potential problems that the customer deals with, and to look for possible solutions that involve the company’s product.
Often, there’s nothing new that companies offer over the competition, other than the ability to truly connect and respond to needs. It’s important to never forget the significance of being able to make the connection.
Sign them up for newsletters
Cross-selling and upselling may seem like major efforts; in truth, the natural progression of an initial sale can be easily done when customers are simply made aware of other needs or products. A newsletter or a direct mail letter may be all it takes.
Study their business before attempting to make a pitch
Sales pitches can be much more effective when you know what specific need you attempt to fill. Studying the customer’s business to see which of your products will meet whatever needs they have can be a far more effective way to sell than to simply call and hope for a sale.
If there are service visits, make full use of them
In many cases, having a service member visit the business for a servicing call can be a great opportunity to put in a good word. Since the service team member has a reason to be there and to talk about your company’s products, it’s possible to put in a sales angle. It’s important to train service team members.
Phillip Olden has enjoyed a successful career in marketing and enjoys sharing his insights on selling strategies and campaigns with an online audience. He is a frequent contributor for a number of relevant websites.