Are you familiar with that popular children’s song about the value of friendship?
Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver, the other is gold
That song is deeply relevant to salespeople looking to generate new leads. After all, it costs five times as much to get a new customer as it does to maintain an existing client.
Plus, satisfied customers are worth their weight in gold—offering the potential of not only repeat business, but also valuable referrals.
Here are some suggestions for tapping into your existing client database in order to grow your business.
Put a call out on social media.
Sometimes, when you’re looking to find new prospects, the best thing you can do is make your intentions well known. When you’ve been providing exceptional service to your current clients, they’ll likely be thrilled to help you connect with new leads.
Begin your social media post by thanking your current clients for allowing you to serve them. Then, you can let them know about your goals to grow your business, and how far referrals from past customers will go in making that a reality.
Not all salespeople are willing to put themselves out there to this degree, but, if you’ve maintained strong relationships with your clients, they’ll definitely be invested enough in your success to want to help.
Connect with the family of current clients.
Regardless of industry, one of the best sources of new leads for service-based sales professionals is the family of satisfied customers. For real estate agents, this might mean connecting with a younger buyer, who had previously mentioned that her parents were looking to downsize after retirement. Or it could be helping a sibling or cousin of a seller you represented, who was amazed by your commitment to getting their home sold.
Working with family members is especially important when you’re a financial advisor looking to avoid unwanted ACATS following a transfer of wealth. One of the wisest investments you can make in the future of your business is to connect with your client’s spouse, as well as their children. If you’re a financial advisor looking to get better at connecting with the families of your clients, check out our free e-book.
Check in with your clients around milestones.
If you’re serious about leveraging your past clients for repeat business, then you’re already following up with them regularly. Life milestones like birthdays, graduations, promotions, and the birth of children/grandchildren provide organic opportunities to reach out to your customers and offer congratulations.
When you’re wrapping up those phone calls, emails, or text conversations, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t use the opportunity to drive sales. Remind your clientz that you value their business and are happy to help them or anyone in their circle with anything they might need. While this might not result in an immediate referral, it will at least plant the thought in their heads—improving the odds that they’ll pass your name along the next time someone they know needs help.
Use your magazine as a networking tool.
A customized magazine from ReminderMedia is an amazing icebreaker, offering you the opportunity to organically connect with your clients after each mailing. When you call one of your past clients to ask how they enjoyed their most recent issue, that helps keep you top of mind. But it also offers a great opportunity to ask for referrals.
While you have this customer on the phone, ask them if there’s anyone in their circle who might appreciate a copy of the magazine. Then, get that person’s contact info and send along one of your promotional copies (or maybe a copy of your magazine’s digital edition). From there, it’s all about nurturing that new relationship and turning that prospect into a client.
Ask for a testimonial.
Testimonials are an incredibly valuable tool for leveraging your satisfied customers to draw in new ones. Plus, they can take many forms, from video testimonials and quotes on your website to reviews on social media. If you’re not sold on the power of testimonials, consider this: a study from BrightLocal found that 88% of people trusted e-reviews as much as recommendations from people they knew.
One of the simplest, yet most effective methods for leveraging testimonials is to ask your customers to recommend your business on Facebook. Once they do, their glowing reviews will show up on your business page, as well as the news feeds of many of your client’s Facebook friends.
The next time it feels like your prospect pool has run dry, remember that you have a wealth of potential clients at your disposal, if only you’ll look to your existing customer base.