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- Leveraging Existing Business Relationships for Greater Business Opportunities … aka 100% of 100% Strategy! [ARTICLE]
Leveraging Existing Business Relationships for Greater Business Opportunities … aka 100% of 100% Strategy!
One of the most over-looked business development areas of professional selling, is the existing client you have!
With the exception of those rare instances where a selling situation may merely be ‘transactional’ with transit customers, the fastest way to increase sales volumes is to start with existing clients and especially satisfied customers. Most sales professionals fail to see the totality of business opportunities that may be directly connected with every individual client they presently have in their portfolio. Most selling organizations and individually are geared to make the sale and go after the next prospect or suspect in their marketplace. This has become the norm in the B2B, B2C and C2C marketplace, whether in traditional selling or virtual e-Commerce selling.
Once the hard work has been accomplished in building rapport and trust with the other person and in this case the customer, your ability to leverage that relationship should always foremost on your mind – serving others by serving your contact client relationship!
Think of your daily schedule, marketing and advertising efforts, client development contact initiatives, all sales funnel or sales pipeline endeavors and what you should be asking every day is:
- 100% of 100% - Until I have connected with 100-percent of yourself existing clients and ensure that I have educated or provided an opportunity for them to participate in 100-percent of my deliverables, do not place any energy on non- customer endeavors.
- 100% of 100% - Then ask yourself, how do I consultatively engage 100-percent of my existing clients and build a trust based relationship with each of them, to engage them for ‘referrals’ or ‘advocacy’ to their contacts, clients, vendors, network that would be viable clients to my deliverables?
- 100% of 100% - If you are a membership based organization as a sale, then ask yourself, how do I consultatively engage 100-percent of my existing members/serviceman-woman/employees/parishioners and build a trust based relationship with each of them, to engage them for ‘referrals’ or ‘advocacy’ to their contacts, clients, vendors, network that would be viable new members to my deliverables?
Sales professionals need to ask enough questions of existing clients so as to be able to determine what products/services in the line-up of offerings will address the client’s immediate needs. Also, what products/services will be necessary sequentially in your line-up of offerings to get the client from where they are today (immediate need) to where they say they want to be one day (long term need).
By knowing a client’s short term and long term goals, you can serve as consultant to a clients’ success and guide them toward smarter purchasing decisions, increased purchasing decisions and more profitable purchasing decisions. A powerful way to gain this insight is from your clients “Mission Statement” of what they deem important and where they indicate they as an organization are going!
Recognize the time it takes to find a new suspect, convert that into a prospect, communicate and entice them into a Sales Presentation and work for new Customer out of that relationship, is extremely more expensive when compared to cultivating more business from existing clients – 100% of 100%!
Another way that sales professionals can cultivate additional business from existing clients, beyond expanding the level/volume of utilization and consummation of products/services by the current client, is to utilize them as a conduit to other customers within their same organization/place/family/group, or from within their network. Every existing client breaks down into one of three transaction statuses.
- Some will be merely customers and would rather blend away
- A second group may be a customer by default and will not want to assist you in any endeavor
- And a third subgroup will always be raving fans, advocates, allies, and Centers- of-Influence if you just actively engage them and give them the opportunity to further serve you to serve others!
By identifying this third subgroup you can shorten that Sales Presentation curve of finding and making the next sale, by having qualified referrals to make contact with as leads from these fans.
Brainstorm an example of one of your organizations existing clients. See how many other potential buyers there could be within that one point-of-contact that you are not presently in dialogue with. The leverage here in contacting that new potential buying contact, is that there is already a relationship between you and their organization and that helps to ensure that you are a credible option.
We are conditioned to see our market through the lens of our predecessor or the organizations lens of past selling history. I learned this years ago, not by design, but mere accident. I had a client within an organization, at a specific business level that made direct sense for what I had to offer and what was needed and that bought from me, when he got promoted he bought me again from another business unit that I had previously never even considered as a prospect. Then I learned that he was a member of several organizations, some connected to his employment organization and others that did not, he recommended me and they bought me as well. Then I identified vendors that supplied his association and business, as sponsors of me to them, and they bought. What I learned from this one ‘relationship’ is that there are multiple other layers of possible business transaction opportunities, and these transactions happened only because of the ‘relationship’!
Now, let’s apply this concept and strategy within and throughout your organization, every leader at every level and in every business unit owns creating a best-in-class work area that attracts and retains great talent. If done, then everyone would be excited to generate quality leads on a regular basis to your organizations selling/recruiting team for follow-up and expedited next selling opportunities.
You can dramatically increase sales effectiveness by cultivating or mining existing client relationships for additional business opportunities and transactions, while at the same time focusing efforts on looking for new clients all together!
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