Business and relationships come with their highs and lows. Like most couples, there are things that eventually end up being taken for granted. You may have heard the phrase “the honeymoon phase has ended”. Well, that can be true in both cases.
The same similarity applies to the theory of new vs existing customers. Anyone working in the sales department will agree that #prospecting is difficult when trying to secure new clients. A sales cycle with new prospects is somewhat similar to dating a new person: courting, evaluating, decision making, commitment, agreement, and implementation.
Things settle down into a different rhythm. Communication and connection with key executives might become more limited. If and when the key performers leave the company, sellers might not be able to build strong relationships with their replacements. Ultimately, your steady customer can become vulnerable to being courted by new vendors, and you could lose them.
Looking at a broader picture, some clients feel as if they are being taken for granted. In some cases this is true. Some sales teams have an underlying attitude that if their clients need something they will contact them.
In this scenario, prospecting is identifying key accounts that may have stalemated and finding opportunities bring new value through an additional sell. The vast majority of sellers view business development as an activity restricted to finding new accounts. But most key performers have hidden needs. The number of performers actively looking to make buying judgments is much, much smaller. Note this definition of prospecting makes no mention of whether the key participant works for a customer or a prospect. In either situation, you’re working to explore new opportunities to offer your business solution.
Finding Advantages in Existing Accounts.
New accounts present several challenges, including the need to build strong relationships with new people, prove your experience, inaugurate reliability for your company and negotiate new settlements. On the other hand, few of those barriers apply when you work with existing clients.
Prospecting Within the Consumer Base Offers at Least Five Advantages:
- Win rates for obtaining add-on business should be knowingly higher.
- Buying cycles are much smaller.
- Incidents of “no decision” are likely less often.
- Key player contacts already are recognized.
- Contracts/legal agreements are in place, making you the incumbent vendor of choice.
It’s risky to wait for clients to call you with new requirements. As an incumbent vendor, you should focus on taking key performers within your consumer base from latent to active needs for add-on offerings. This attitude could be your entry to even higher levels within the organization, beyond the decision-makers with whom you secured the initial order.
Paying Attention to Organizational Changes.
Pay as much attention to your existing clients’ structural charts as you did when you courted them as potential prospects. Few things are more disheartening than losing a client to a dealer who capitalized on the opportunity to court your client. As you consider how you’ll make this year’s quota, be sure to feature in business that you can find within your client base. If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table.
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Gee, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®