Get New Business the Easy Way

What’s the easiest way to get new sales revenue? 

Get more business from existing customers. Sell them more of the same or something new. They already know you and love you so this should be the obvious path when you need revenue fast.  

What’s the next easiest way to get new sales revenue? 

Introductions from satisfied customers.  

STOP! 

Leveraging new business from existing customers assumes you have built and maintained relationships and that your customers are satisfied. If they are not, your easiest two ways to drive sales are out. It’s even harder to drive sales from new customers if you don’t have satisfied customers because you have no testimonials or people who will vouch for you when contacted by prospects.  

So take good care of your customers. Make sure their experience with sales, onboarding, and retention are great.  

If these are the easiest ways to get new sales revenue and they are quicker than going out looking for new prospects, why don’t we spend more time on these? 

In some cases, it is our company leadership or investors demanding new logos. In some cases, our customers are unhappy so we can’t go back to them and sell more or ask for referrals. In many cases, we just don’t focus on it or have a plan to do it.  

Let’s break it down right now so you can get rolling in 2020 driving new business the easy way.  

Existing Customers

Make a list of your existing customers, what they buy and what that produces in revenue annually. Then determine what they could be buying. Some companies call this White Space Mapping. White space is the space where there is nothing but could be something.  

For each customer determine if they could buy more of what they already purchase or if there are other products and services, they may need but have never purchased.  

Once you have this information, plan an approach to talk to the decision-makers and open some new opportunities.  

There is one caveat – don’t try to upsell or cross-sell problem customers. Customers you really should have fired.  

I recommend you rank and rate all of your customers before you do the White Space Mapping. Eliminate any customers that are problematic or less than ideal. You will either want to fix the problems first or possibly even stop doing business with them.  

Start your plan with your top-ranked and rated customers.  

How It Looks

Example 1: Company ABC is ranked a 1 because of the amount of revenue they spend. They are also rated as an A customer because they are easy to work with, pay on time and allow you to partner with them on ideas. You notice they are purchasing less than in prior years and that they have never purchased 3 of your new products that you believe they might need. You plan an approach with your team to determine how to get some coaching from a few of the decision-makers and then set a meeting to discuss partnering to help them meet their goals.  

Example 2: Company XYZ is ranked a 2 because they spend a decent amount, but they are not in your top 20 list. They are rated a B because even though they consistently purchase and pay on time, you don’t have relationships with the right people. You plan an approach with your team to find the right people and start developing relationships in the next 30 days so you can follow that with a meeting to determine their future needs.  

Example 3: Company LMNOP is ranked a 1 because they spend so much money but rated a C because they see you as a commodity and have their purchasing department place orders. They are always asking for a price reduction. They also create a lot of drama and run your people ragged. You meet with your team to discuss whether or not you want to continue doing business. Yes, it’s a lot of revenue but is it worth it? You plan an approach with your team to get to the senior executives and develop relationships to see if you can turn them their rating into a B and if not, you may decide to let them go and focus your energy on your As and Bs to make up for and far surpass the revenue they provide.  

It seems obvious, but have you done this for all of your top customers? What are you waiting for – get busy or call us and we’ll help!

Referrals to New Customers

Once you have done this and have a plan to approach each customer, your salespeople will need to get busy. The great news is that while they are contacting all of the satisfied and loyal customers they can create opportunities to ask for referrals.  

“By referral, I mean an introduction, with a raving review, that will prompt a prospect to schedule an appointment with you.” 

Not, hey, do you know anyone who could use our products.  

How It Looks

You take that list you made to sell more to existing customers and choose the top 10 companies off it. For each company, the team lists the people they have the best relationships with.  

Next, you take your list of prospects and start matching. LinkedIn is very useful for this.  

You can also look at their customers and vendors and see if any of them are your ideal prospects as you know they can provide introductions to them very easily (if they have good relationships).  

Example: ABC company leaders think your team is terrific. There are several executives on that team who have provided coaching in the past. You have chosen 3 of them that you are planning on talking with and you’ve looked through their LinkedIn connections. You notice that two of them used to work at a company that is on your prospect list. After doing some more research you see they are connected to the people who might be the buying influences for a purchase like yours. You plan an approach to ask for an introduction. Since you are going to be having lunch with one of them, you prepare what you are going to say. After catching up and discussing business you say something like, “Great catching up and looking at the future of working together. I know you are excited about your growth this year and so are we. We are looking for more great customers like you. I’ve done a little research and noticed you used to work at TLT Company and are connected to some of the people I’d like to meet. Would you feel comfortable introducing me?” If they left on good terms and they have a solid relationship with you, the answer should be yes, and you can discuss the best way to make the introduction. You could meet in person, on a conference call or have an introduction via email or LinkedIn. In some cases, you might even write something your reference can share to make it easy for them to introduce you.  

You could have a similar conversation about one of their vendors or customers.  

Others Who Can Make Introductions

Your happy customers aren’t the only ones who can make introductions to your ideal prospects. You have former classmates, former coworkers, other business friends, and vendors who can introduce you. Again, make a plan, execute it consistently and be very specific when asking for an introduction.  

In Conclusion

Why do it the hard way? Unfortunately, salespeople are focused on the hardest way to get new business… finding new companies that can buy from cold outreach. This does work but I highly recommend you first exhaust the business you can do with your existing customers and then get introductions to your ideal prospects from happy customers and others who know you well. Then if you still need to use cold outreach, go for it, but do it well.  

About the Author Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman, the CEOs Sales Coach. According to Forbes.com, she is among the world’s leading experts on the complex sale. She strategizes with sales leadership and provides innovative ideas to grow sales. Originally, from the widely known Miller Heiman Group, Alice and her team incorporate the newest research and best practices to provide sales programs that generate immediate and sustainable results.

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  • Aka Chiagozie says:

    Alice Heiman, I must say that this is helpful and I trust that any Digital Business leader who read this, must cherish and admire it.

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