I was chatting with a CPA about the extraordinary revenue increases possible from focus on current clients. He said: “You mean, you’re saying I should work harder to sell more services to my current customers rather than trying to get new customers for the same limited list of services?” “Yes, that’s what I mean,” I replied.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why this is a remarkable idea. It seems so obvious to me that buyers who’ve been happy with their purchases from you would be eager to buy more if you would just offer new options they’d love.
I’ve come to the conclusion that one reason above all causes businesses to invest most of their marketing and business development efforts in acquiring new buyers.
You love your current offerings too much!
How can you love your current offerings so much that you create a barrier to repeat business?
That’s easy to answer: you have offerings that do well for you. Everyone feels extremely comfortable providing them, so you stopped thinking about what else you could offer. The sales and revenue keep coming so why not keep selling these offerings? Why take risks with new ideas that may not work?
You personally are comfortable every day. Products and services sell, revenue comes in, bills are paid, you’re putting something away for the future; why rock the boat?
You don’t have to stop loving your current offerings. You have to start loving your buyers more than you love your offerings.
When you love your buyers more than your offerings:
- You talk to your buyers
- You find out what else they’d like to buy
- You learn what high value is for them
- You re-envision your company
- You look at it through many lenses
- You segment your buyers into groups
- You cultivate and nurture your best buyers
- You design new offerings and align them with the preferences and needs of your Regulars and Enthusiastic Fans
- You undertake efforts to move some buyers up the GO Curve from Regular to Enthusiastic Fan and some all the way to Best Buyer
Overcome the Barrier
Get everyone together: product development team, sales team, customer services team and marketing team. Bring every bit of information you have about your current buyers including what they buy, how frequently they buy, their service needs, other communication with the company.
Ask the question “How can we improve and innovate from our current offerings to create new offerings our current buyers would love to buy?”
Notice, you’re not starting from scratch, nor have I told you to think outside the box.
Use your current product and service lines as the starting point for improvements and innovations. Ask how you can add tangible intangibles such as more convenience, extraordinary service, access to limited supplies of resources, and status-enhancing value. The most important rule of this conversation is that no one can say “We don’t do that” or “No one does that.” The more unusual the improvements and innovations the better.
Talk isn’t enough. Intensifying your focus on increasing revenue from current buyers has to take precedence over new buyer acquisition and has to become second nature to everyone in the company. That starts with you, the Owner, Executive or Principal.
Start the New Love
I help owners and executives learn the habit of singular focus. You have to be extremely clear about your desired outcome. In this case, it’s maximizing revenue from current buyers. After that, essentially it’s learning how to consistently say ‘yes’ to the exact right activities and ‘no’ to everything else.