7 Tried-and-True Tips for Growing Existing Accounts
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
Below are 7 tried-and-true tips that integrated marketers
can undertake to grow existing accounts.
Identify & Choose the Right Accounts
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.