Easiest way to sell more is to focus on existing customers


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The selling investment required to make a sale is lower when selling to existing customers versus new customers. There is a relationship in place and you have extensive knowledge of the customer – including challenges, how they operate, and their decision process.

So a strategic question for driving profit is: Are you leveraging the investment in your existing customer base? One underutilized approach for achieving this goal is the potential for technical and service people to identify sales opportunities.

In major accounts, multiple people within your company are involved in implementing the sale and supporting the customer. These people spend a significant amount of time at the customer site. In the case of major IT or consulting engagements, it is every day for extended periods of time.

Although the technical and service staffs have an opportunity to grow the business, they often don’t for a variety of reasons – such as they don’t see it as their job, they don’t have the skills and/or they just don’t like doing it.

Yet, these people can play two key roles in growing the business.

  • The first and most obvious is providing quality products and services. After all, the effectiveness of the work all of these people do has a direct impact on a customer’s satisfaction with the solutions your company offers. Success brings additional sales; failure takes a company out of consideration for future business.
  • The second role is more difficult and is often totally neglected. Every person who interacts with customers should have their antennae “up” for potential opportunities for their company. This can take several forms – being alert for new opportunities coming down the pike with existing contacts or with different contacts within the customer organization. This perspective is especially important when a company offers a wide range of solutions where the customer might not be aware of the breadth of their offerings.

When seeking to sell more to existing customers, it isn’t just the responsibility of your sales people. In these situations, everyone who interacts with the customer should be “part sales person”.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Ruff
For more than 30 years Richard Ruff has worked with the Fortune 1000 to craft sales training programs that make a difference. Working with market leaders Dick has learned that today's great sales force significantly differs from yesterday. So, Sales Momentum offers firms effective sales training programs affordably priced. Dick is the co-author of Parlez-Vous Business, to help sales people have smart business conversations with customers, and the Sales Training Connection.


  1. Richard, you are absolutely on target. Everyone in a company should be part of the sales team. Existing customers are our best source of new sales, but they are forgotten in the business-development process.

    The least expensive and the most effective prospecting process is to ask current customers to refer you and introduce you to your best prospects.

    Everyone in an organization has connections. Let people know your Ideal Client profile and the deals you are working on. Make sure your consultants and implementation teams know how to ask for referrals.

    When you receive a referral introduction, you arrive pre-sold, have credibility, shorten your sales process, ace-out the competition, and convert your sales prospect to a new client more than 50 percent of the time. Try to find another prospecting strategy that beats referrals.

    The payoff is…well, try referral selling and find out.


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