Unlocking value within your existing customer base
Focus on loyalty: you can’t afford to take it for granted any more
Too many businesses fall into the trap of trying to gain new customers without:
a) ensuring their existing customers are getting the best possible service and support,
b) taking time out to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of who their customers actually are and how they interact with their businesses today and
c) exploring what opportunities there may be to sell more to existing customers
One of the truths of modern business is that there is almost nothing your competitors can’t duplicate in a matter of weeks or months
If you have a great idea, you can be certain that somebody will copy it before long. In today’s environment your customers are time-poor and will be targeted from all angles with competitive offers. The question then becomes: “what competitive edge do I have to offer that cannot be copied by anyone else?” The answer? Your brand. Your brand is not just about your name and your logo. It’s about how you communicate with your clients, your premises, your reputation within the local community and the way you interact with your customers.
Steps to help sell more to existing customers
1. Identify your most profitable customers
This is the group you should spend the majority of your efforts on. Don’t just communicate with them when you’re looking for business. Have regular contact with them and find out how and where they want to interact with you. Knowing which customers are profitable means you can make sure you’re looking after them.
- Get to know these customers and really understand the characteristics that make them profitable.
- Try and build up more profitable customers and reduce the amount of non-profitable customers who take up lots of your time but for little reward.
2. Group customers with similar characteristics
Drill down into your customer base so you can refine your communications to them accordingly. Ensure they rely on you for more than product, price and service and are looking to you for industry knowledge and expertise as well.
– Create specialist, industry information for this group and ensure you communicate to an up-to-date contact list.
3. Look at what your customers don’t buy from you
Connect with customers to establish who supplies them with the products they’re not buying from you. Find out how much they’re paying and decide whether you can compete. Are there product features you’re unable to offer? By establishing these facts you are then able to establish how to focus your business to develop, acquire or provide new products for your customer base.
Conduct product training on the products your customers are not buying from you, making them more familiar with the features and benefits.
4. Ask yourself why your customers buy from you
It makes sense that your customers buy from you as opposed to any other supplier because they value your price, product and service. In today’s environment many businesses should look to move beyond price and product, from a transactional approach to a partnership approach. When customers buy from you they also enter into a relationship with you. So think how you can introduce something different to your brand proposition to really create a competitive edge.
Add value to your customer proposition. Look at offering marketing support, specialist training or assistance with consumer campaigns.
Once you have robust customer data then you can make informed decisions about the overall strategy for your business.
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