I came across a blog post recently that I thought did an excellent job of highlighting some key issues around a very important topic.
The post is by Bill Brelsford out of Kansas on the topic of selling more services to your existing clients.
Now, we all know the importance of extending and expanding our relationship with our current clients. And we know that it is less expensive to gain new business in this fashion. But what we often overlook is the “how” in the equation. That's where Bill has a lot to offer.
It is all too easy to take existing clients for granted and to assume that if they are happy with our current work (our research shows that about two thirds of clients are extremely pleased, on average), they will automatically come to us with additional needs. Not true. Our research shows that most clients don't know the range of services you can provide to them. The result is that they go elsewhere for a service you could easily offer.
How common is this? During a recent webinar, we we polled our participants and found that 100% had this happen to their firms! Major ouch.
Now I won't steal all of Bill's thunder but here are a few of my takeaways from his post.
- Don't go in there “selling services.” Focus instead on listening to your client's real issues and solving them. A big Amen.
- The sales process for cross selling is not unlike the process for the initial sale. Shorter, perhaps, but still the same steps.
- Don't take anything for granted. Just because the client knows you, don't assume they will choose you. You still need to show them you understand and can solve their problem.
Seems pretty basic, right? Yet we have all been snookered by not following this advice. Enjoy Bill's post.