Finding new clients can be hard work, especially in the current economic environment. The best sales people know that the easiest sale to make is with existing clients. But how do you get them to spend more money with you?

In my experience you can sell more to your clients and actually enhance the relationship at the same time….. if you do it properly.

To me a good client is like the goose in that fable. You know – the one that lays the golden eggs? In the fable the owners killed the goose and cut it open to get all the golden eggs only to discover there were none to be had. They ended up losing their supply of golden eggs due to their greed.

Just trying to sell, sell, sell will eventually kill the goose. They will not want to take your calls and soon they will be looking elsewhere.

You need to take care of the goose, nurture it, and make sure it is healthy. Provided you continue to meet your client’s current needs and wants then the golden eggs will keep coming.

But how do you get even more golden eggs?

Sitting there waiting for your goose to increase the golden egg count could be a long wait!

The answer is quite simple. Take the focus off yourself and your mortgage and start getting interested in your client’s unresolved problems. Take the initiative to do some research into the problem and how you could potentially provide a solution. Sometimes you may need to do some digging and be prepared to put this down to R&D rather than expecting to be paid for it.

This is REAL consultative selling rather than consultative order-taking.

I remember talking to a client CEO about a particular unresolved problem. He had previously mentioned it but had never done much about it. To be honest, he was not that bothered and had far better things to worry about! I asked him if I could speak with a few of his sales managers to look into the problem. He was happy with my doing this as it was not going to cost anything and would provide him with some insights.

When talking to the sales managers I discovered the problem was small but indirectly costing the company millions every year. No one had joined the dots before and I could see how it would be very easy for me to provide a cost effective solution. The proposal was what I like to call a ‘no-brainer’ and significantly raised my golden egg count!

Obviously you would only do this sort of research with clients you consider to have a much larger potential golden egg count. The worst case scenario is that you will have invested in the relationship. Once you have enough information about how you can add value then you are ready to start a sales discussion.

Sometimes we can be spending so much time and effort looking for new clients that we overlook the very people who could be the fastest route to more golden eggs!