Most small to medium sized businesses are guilty of getting caught up in the chase for new business and forgetting the current, with new customers seeming to be the thing they want, whilst maybe not realising that actually, selling extra services to your current customers is so much more easier, rewarding and helps to increase a customer lifespan even longer.
There is something special about landing a new client, with new challenges to face and success to enjoy, which is probably why we all love going after new business, but it is so easy to forget your current customers and how much more value they could bring to you, and of course, how much more you can bring to them. If you already have a good set of customers and are not upselling or advertising your other services to them, do not expect them to know what else you do, sell or offer, because they will not know unless you tell them.
How do I know this and how can I be so sure? Read on.
So, How Did This Come About?
I was as guilty as anyone a few years ago when it came to making sure that my existing clients knew about my other services and enhancements that I could work with them on, alongside what they were currently doing with me. I often blamed time when it came to not actively selling to my existing customers, but to be honest, it was probably more I was not sure if should have been, until one day when I had a meeting with a longstanding client.
I had been working with Client A on an SEO project for a year. Results were good, sales were up and the relationship was sound. During a meeting with them, they mentioned they had just started an Adwords PPC campaign for their company, and were spending a lot of money on not only the setup but also the monthly management fee through a decent sized PPC agency. It was at this point I mentioned that “I did that” and they looked at me surprised. I was a Google Partner, Google Accredited and all the rest, but they had not come to me and to be honest, I was shocked they never mentioned they wanted to do PPC directly with me.
The reason they didn’t get me to do the work and the reason I lost out on a load more business? They did not even know I did anything other than SEO.
And there we have it. All of my clients knew I was good at only one thing – the thing I offered to them, which meant my SEO customers did not know I offered PPC, my PPC customers generally did not know I offered SEO and neither set of customers also knew I could increase their sales through paid Facebook and Twitter advertising, remarketing and email marketing. I just assumed they knew what I did, they looked at my website and that I had told them, which was obviously not the case and for me the lesson was learnt and times had to change.
Assuming they knew what else I did was a critical error and mistake, and something I am sure many other businesses are also very guilty of.
How To Communicate With Your Existing Customers
So that was my story and I changed it successfully to the point where all of my clients knew what I had to offer. I did this through a range of measures that basically all came down to increasing my communication with current clients, but some core areas to focus on include:
Monthly newsletters can literally transform your business and I am proof of this, as are many of my clients who I helped to introduce them. Send your current customers an email newsletter once a month with a decent article, special offer and information about the services you offer, then over time they will remember what you do and start to look forward to your newsletter, as long as it is good of course. If you are blogging frequently, which you should be, you already have a lot of this content already, so it just a case of getting a newsletter provider like Mail Chimp or AWeber, designing your email, placing the content and then hitting the send button.
It really can start to deliver good results, but you must keep sending them consistently to make sure you get the best returns from your email marketing in the long run.
No matter what you sell or provide, there is always room for a special offer and this can make the difference between a customer trying you or switching to you for other services and deciding to stay where they are or not taking you up on your offer. If you provide a monthly service then you could maybe offer 3 months for the price of four and give a month for free, or if you sell products you could offer money off discounts. As I mention, you can always find a special offer no matter what your core business is, and if it means you get your current customers using you for your other services, you will generate far more income in the long run than the offer may cost you in the short term.
I am not a massive fan of allowing customers to try something for free, as even if you deliver the best results in the world, it still gives them a reason to back out and go elsewhere or even do it themselves. But, when they are already your customers then you can be more flexible with this, as not only do they already know how good you are (hopefully) but you can afford to give a trial as you area making existing income from them. You could do a months’ worth of Adwords for free, or maybe a free email newsletter send, just to give them a taste of how successful your others services could work out for them.
Good Old Fashioned Conversation
Generally overlooked these days is actually picking up the phone or meeting face to face to discuss what else you can offer. How many times do we send an email and never follow up, or maybe pop a letter in the post but get a bit disheartened when you do not get any feedback. Your customers and clients like you because you are good at what you do, hence they are current customers, so a phone call or meeting with you is something that they are going to want to do. You can learn more about them and their needs and then offer extra services or products to make sure that they do more with you and less with other companies.