Thursday, October 25, 2012

10 Ways to Get More Sales From Existing Customers

If you are looking to increase your revenue per customer, here are some tips on getting your sales staff focused on inside sales, upselling, and marketing additional services.

Every business needs new customers, but don't ever forget that your easiest and most predictable source of new revenue is right under your nose: It comes from the loyal customers who already know your company.  Acquiring new customers is expensive (five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one), and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one.  So, sure, put some energy into new business development, but make sure your salespeople know that coming up with creative ways to sell more to your current customers is just as important. Here are 10 proven techniques to do just that:

1. Think lifetime value, not transactional value. To keep customers coming back to Zane's Cycles (and away from the superstores), Chris Zane offers a wildly attractive incentive to parents who buy their children's bikes from him: He'll credit the full cost of last year's bicycle toward an upgrade every year up to a 20-inch wheel. "We won't make money until they buy their second bike from us at full price," says the Branford, Connecticut entrepreneur. In the meantime, parents buy accessories for their growing children and, predicts Zane, are impressed enough with his commitment to service that they become customers for life.

Dig Deeper: Chris Zane on Attracting the Best Customers

2. Go for a no-brainer upsell. "We started noticing that our clients wanted us to store their media files because they had a habit of re-editing their sizzle reels several times over the course of the year," says Scott Gerber, CEO of SizzleIt, a New York City company that produces short promotional videos. The process became time consuming and tedious for the company, so Gerber started charging clients monthly and annual fees to store their data. "This created a whole new revenue stream for the company," he says, "not to mention it allowed us to get rid of large amounts of media files when clients didn't want to pay."