Every successful business needs clients, and prospecting for these clients is an integral part of a sales team’s responsibilities.
But winning new business can be difficult and often requires costly marketing initiatives to “soften” the marketplace. Even when the market is primed the sales cycle itself can be very lengthy, lasting for many months and possibly years depending upon the products or services being offered. While keeping a steady flow of new prospects is the ideal, most companies are sitting on a gold mine of business. Within their existing client database and dormant accounts is vast untapped potential.
Your database is a gold mine because…
- These clients are already working with you or have worked with you in the past. If you are doing or have done a good job, you can safely assume they are comfortable with the relationship and will continue to engage with your company.
- You have already been vetted by the client and in some cases are on their list of approved vendors.
- You understand their business and there is only a small learning curve required.
- You know the key players at their company and making contact with them is easy.
Think about it. If you could get just 10-15% more business from your existing accounts and reactivate another 10%, you would probably need to prospect less. (I can just hear the sales reps rejoicing!)
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Reach out to your existing accounts and ensure that they know about ALL of the products and services you offer. Perhaps you informed them in the past and they forgot, or perhaps you have added new products or services since you started to work with them. Regardless of the reason make certain that you are not “leaving business on the table” thereby providing your competitors with an opportunity to make headway into your accounts. The more work that you do for a client the more secure the account.
2. While you are speaking with your accounts about services provided – yes, this is best done by phone or in-person rather than by email – make sure to probe effectively to uncover new information about their company and any potential opportunities to do additional work. This should occur on a regular basis so that you are always aware of what changes might be happening with your clients.
You want to be ahead of the game and not find out when it is to late to leverage the opportunity.
3. Just because a client is dormant and no longer working with you doesn’t mean there won’t be future opportunities to work with them again. Make a point of staying within the sightlines of your dormant accounts so that you are visible if and when they have additional needs. Keeping them apprised of everything that you can do for them is the best way to get additional work.
Best of all, because you don’t have to do extensive marketing to your existing and dormant accounts, you will be able to see an increase in revenue without a corresponding increase in the cost of marketing and sales. They already know you and what you can do for them!
Of course, you always need new prospects, but don’t underestimate the gold that is hiding right there in your own database.