Are you frustrated when clients defect? Finding it hard to hit your numbers? Is your client base growing or shrinking? You need to read this ASAP.
When interacting with each client, your only conversation should take one of three directions:
- Retention — Keep Them Happy and On-Board.
- Extension — Sell Them More Stuff.
- Expansion — Spread The Wealth To Other Like Clients.
Let me go more in-depth on each one:
At the end of every client transaction or communication, you should know where you are with that client. Are you at the start of the relationship and building trust with them? Have you built trust and are now extending your product line deeper into their company (see Extension)? Are they at the 'tipping-point' where they might flee because of apathy, change in relationship, competitor inroads, etc.?
Solution: Every time you communicate or interact with your client, clearly understand where you are and track their responses. Did they lower the quantity in an order? Did they cancel a number of meetings? Did the client sound non-committal on the phone? Many companies will continue on their merry way sending product without stopping, analyzing, and acting on these client cues.
You don't have to do it with everyone — but I at least hope you are monitoring this behavior with your top 10 clients.
When you connect with them — actually, EVERY time you connect with them, you should try to casually or sometimes forcefully, sell them more stuff. Why?
- They've already bought from you, so you have a good track record.
- They trust you.
- It's easier and much cheaper to sell more stuff to existing clients.
Solution: Understand your Tier 2 products — the ones where you can easily pitch them by asking simple questions. If you are a printer and you just sold a major print run of brochures, do you ask for business cards, stationary, giveaways, etc.? If you are a coach, do you pitch strategy sessions, assessments, etc.? If you are an accountant, do you pitch cash-flow analyses, CFO tools, or team discussions with their tax preparer?
You should always ask for more business or WHO they might know. If they've already bought your product and are using it happily, you need to ask them for referrals — anyone they might know who might have use of your products or services. Whenever I ask, people instantly recommend someone OR they offer to ask around for me. That's the sign of a healthy client/provider relationship.
Solution: Casually ask if there is anyone they might know who might be interested in your product or service. Seed the thought in their mind — I promise it will bear fruit some day. And if a client leaves, I ALWAYS ask for two things: a testimonial and a referral. It's the best time to ask for a favor — they are usually feeling guilty about breaking off the relationship — so use it to your advantage. And guess what? I always get them.
If you take this strategy and use it on all of your existing clients, I promise you will keep them longer, sell them more stuff, and get more clients. It works every time.
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P.S. How is your sales team handling your current clients? Not so good? Let’s talk. I've helped hundreds of companies get their sales teams rocking in no time — call or email me to schedule a complimentary session.