7 Tried-and-True Tips for Growing Existing Accounts
It costs five times more to attain a new customer than to retain an existing one. Here's how SMB's can grow your existing customer base.
When seeking to enhance revenue streams, businesses often first think of prospecting for new clients, but an often untapped source for increasing sales and profits is to grow existing accounts. According to Outbound Engine, it costs five times more to attain a new customer than to retain an existing one, while the success rate of generating sales with existing customers is 60-70% as opposed to the 5-20% with new businesses. Yet many SMBs continue to invest in prospecting instead of nurturing existing accounts.
Below are 7 tried-and-true tips that integrated marketers can undertake to grow existing accounts.
Identify & Choose the Right Accounts
Review your existing accounts and look for who has the most potential for growth. Who passionately buys and uses your goods or services? Are there other products they should be using that complement their business needs? These companies should be open to new ideas and have the staff, budget, and willingness to innovate.
Listen to Your Clients
Dig deeply into your clients’ wants, needs, concerns, and frustrations. Some of your customers may not even know what their needs are, but if you actively listen you should be able to help identify their problems and suggest solutions. What services or solutions can you offer to make a difference with their issues and get them on track?
Build Trusted Relationships
Every client that your SMB works with should feel that they have a special relationship with your organization. Learn as much as you can about your customers’ businesses, talk to different colleagues and executives, understand their strategy and goals, and provide superior service. Are there ways that you can help them grow their businesses? Be personal in your communications and interactions and remember or record small details about the individuals you talk with or meet. Add special touches that cater to each person. Above all, be trustworthy and helpful.
Be a Consultant
Aligned with building strong customer relationships is positioning yourself as a consultant or subject matter expert with your customers. Treat customer interactions as a consultation where you draw out their concerns or goals and share insights encountered with other client situations. Offer unique and strategic ideas that will ultimately influence their pain points.
Know Your Suite of Offerings
To upsell, cross-sell, and encourage accounts to expand their business with your SMB, you must know as much as possible about your own business. Know the right questions to ask and which of your products or solutions align with specific customer needs. Have a deep understanding of what your solutions can do, even if you don’t know all the ins & outs. You can always bring in a technical expert to handle the complex details once the client’s interest is piqued.
As a trusted advisor to your clients, you should check in regularly with them, staying top of mind, and sharing valuable insights or ideas that may benefit their business. Keep them apprised of relevant offerings from your SMB without overwhelming them with pitches and product introductions. Another advantage of being proactive is that you can nip in the bud any potential client issues.
Develop a Process
To successfully grow existing accounts requires a process. This requires a checklist of criteria for identifying the most likely accounts to grow, actions you should take including regular communications and constant review. Following the process will ensure that steps are not missed along the way toward cultivating accounts and capitalizing on opportunities.
Growing existing accounts is a proven sales strategy that SMBs should always try to implement. Integrated marketers should bear in mind the advice included here and how best your team can put into place a process that considers the points above. Be proactive, deepen your understanding of your customers, regularly think about client needs and your company’s potential solutions, and deliver on what matters most to them.