Finding new customers is much harder than selling to existing customers. Look at any successful company and the chances are that a major proportion of their sales will come from existing customers. They may not necessarily be selling the same thing all the time but they are still selling more to the same customers.

So many of the clients I have worked with were originally looking for more customers and instead we got amazingly fast sales growth just by changing focus onto developing existing accounts. When a business is new and has no customers then obviously you need some! However, rather than just looking for one off sales, why not build repeat purchase into your sales strategy.

People tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. When looking for new customers we have to go through the process of developing relationships. It does not make sense to go through all the effort of developing relationships only to walk away from the relationshipand start all over again!

I was discussing this principal on a training course recently and one of the attendees was in the business of selling and installing tennis courts in rich people’s gardens.

‘How can I sell more to my customers?’ he asked ‘Once they have a tennis court they do not need another!’

Repeat purchase does not just mean selling the same thing over and over again. The tennis court supplier could increase sales by offering other products and services that complement tennis courts such as maintenance contracts, tennis accessories, tennis coaching, etc. Maybe these will not be for as much money as a single tennis court but it does provide ongoing income. He could go back and sell to previous customers as well as new customers.

This is no different to web designers making ongoing income on hosting fees and search engine optimisation. Each new customer provides short term income and then adds a stream of ongoing income. There is a growing trend to move from one off fees to a monthly charging model.

Why not take a look at your current offering and see what extra follow-on products and services you could offer?

Richard White