Marketing isn’t always just about acquiring new customers. For many businesses, it’s just as important to focus on selling additional products or services to existing customers. Here are some thoughts on what your existing customers want, and how you can respond in ways that will strengthen your relationships with them.
Customers want to feel their business is valued. While a simple “thank you” can help convey your appreciation, consider going a step further. A gift, or maybe a card during the holiday season, can show you remembered the customer and may stimulate a “thanks for the gift” conversation.
Customers want to feel their business partners care about them. One way to illustrate you care is to share industry insights. If you sell to others in your customer’s industry, share some ideas you have gained from working with their peer companies. Be careful not to divulge secrets, but telling a customer about a success someone else has had may give them an idea for improving their business. At a minimum, it shows you are thinking about them.
Customers want to trust their business partners. Consider offering a product guarantee. Few things speak louder than the confidence you show when you offer to refund a customer’s money if the product doesn’t measure up to expectations. Even if your product is immediately consumed after purchase, there may be some way to create a guarantee to demonstrate your confidence in the product.
Most customers want their business partners to be successful. Being able to rely on the same supplier saves customers time and effort. So consider ways to highlight your success and let customers know you will be there when they need you. You might want to issue a press release when you land a new customer, for example. You can also relate recent successes you’ve had working with other customers. You may find including a story of a recent success in a conversation will prompt even more business.
Customers want a pleasant relationship with their business partners. Make it a point to meet or call customers on a regular basis without making a sales pitch. If appropriate, a simple contact on their birthday may create more goodwill than almost anything else.
While you are having these types of contacts with customers, don’t forget to ask for referrals.