When developing a business, it is often imagined that it is necessary to look for new business opportunities outside of its current customer base. However, while it makes sense to diversify your income stream for many reasons, this does not mean that you should not also develop your business with your existing customers. Follow these three tips to become even more indispensable to your customers and increase your turnover.
“You only learn by listening,” says Neil Thornton of Trigger Strategies, an Ontario-based business consulting firm. “We teach people to be curious and sincerely interested in their clients’ business. “
Mr. Thornton warns those who think they should always wear their salesmen’s hat. “There are many business people who are so entrenched behind their service that they are always trying to sell you something but are coming home empty handed,” he warns. “Be attentive, show integrity, and the business will grow on its own. People will do business with you because they will trust you. “
For Beth Boyle, co-founder and senior director of Talk Shop, a Vancouver-based public relations firm, listening to a customer and gaining trust often means approaching her as a business partner, not just a business partner. as a service provider, even if it means recommending that he spend less on his services.
“We try to be flexible,” says M me Boyle. For example, “In the beginning, we can come up with the idea that media relations will help this client grow all over North America, but once we start to understand his goals, we end up sometimes to admit that this may not be the best strategy to follow. “
Lisa Kay, owner of Peak Performance Human Resources Corp. in Toronto, think it’s essential to continually inform your clientele of the services you can offer them, both because they may not know the extent of your skills, and because they may not know that they really need what you offer. “It’s about communicating in a way that makes sense for them,” she says.
Two years ago, Lisa Kay started working with a client on a change management project. During the project, she realized that her client used employment agencies for each job and spent thousands of dollars each year on recruitment fees. By suggesting that she use her services instead, she not only strengthened her own business, but also saved her client money.
One of Ms. Kay’s strategies is to list the services she offers with points centered on her business card, both to inform and to animate the discussion. “I return the map, and we can talk about these points,” she says. “When I come to the customer, we can engage in all kinds of conversations. “
“I see nothing wrong with asking to be introduced to other services,” says Neil Thornton. “You do not ask for anything specific; you simply make yourself known. He explains that following this first meeting, you can ask to get in touch on LinkedIn, engage in dialogue and tactfully explain what you are doing, which ends up giving you “the right to ask something”.
For Melanie Rego, founder and president of Elevator Communications in Toronto, asking sometimes means demonstrating your expertise and encouraging customers to leave their comfort zone to try new experiences, but always with a results-oriented spirit.
“We must respect the fact that our customers are anxious to ensure that, regardless of the direction in which we guide them, the company will be successful,” adds me Rego. “Whoever tries nothing has nothing, that is our philosophy. Do not over emphasize, but still give a discreet elbow.