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Salespeople who stay focused on the needs of customers are less likely to be unseated by competitors and are often rewarded with increased customer loyalty and repeat sales. Here are three areas you should stress salespeople focus on when trying to increase sales to existing customers:

Sales penetration

Salespeople who are willing to put in the hours preparing and learning about their customers, their problems and their needs record the highest penetration.

Here are strategies for increasing sales penetration:

  • Identify services the customer could buy but doesn’t. Calculate the total potential of the account by estimating what’s being bought from the competition.
  • Plan for expanding your pool of contacts within the account. Many managers have exclusive buying authority for their departments.
  • Add value in all of your customer contacts. The most important contribution you can give to existing customers is your knowledge and expertise. What information do you possess that can be of benefit to customers? The possibilities of creating value are limitless: faster service, delivery, easier ordering, etc.
  • Develop a special relationship. Understand the customer’s business strategy and financial situation. What are the customer’s business goals? What are the biggest profit drivers and pitfalls? How can you help customers grow their business?
  • Know your customer’s top clients. How can you help your customers increase sales? Once they know you them and are comfortable, increased sales will follow.

Develop a plan of action

Here are strategies to help:

  • Find out your customers current needs and determine how they’re being met. If the business is going to competitors, come up with a meaningful differentiation. Most customers are being undeserved in some manner. Many clients lack the incentive to change providers. Get these customers to realize that they would be better off increasing their business with you.
  • Recognize the key to selling more to existing customers is your after-sale service. Customers purchase a product with service not just the specific product. Service is the Key! What are the expectations regarding the after-sales support and service? After-sales support gives you an opportunity to strengthen your relationship which increases sales.
  • How do customers feel about your competition? Analyzing the competition requires that you ask questions, gather information and analyze information. The purpose is to find out what you’re competing against and what you need to change to get more of the business.
  • Grow your customers as if it were a prospecting effort. Set dates by which results should be produced. Evaluate the results and fine-tuning your sales process.

Increase credibility and trust

Here are 4 strategies to increase trust that will increase repeat sales:

  • Be a true consultant by talking business strategy. Focus your efforts on calling on the right people in the right accounts with innovative ideas. Use what you have learned from other customers with similar issues to relieve your present customer’s pain. Think in terms of solving problems for customers. Become the greatest information resource the customer has.
  • Show how your product or service can positively affect the customer’s results. Identify the appropriate needs and create a compelling case for your solution.
  • Do your homework. Turn that knowledge into value. Customers want ideas and insight. Know the details about the customer’s own customers and competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • After each order ask the customer how the order went. Show commitment to your customer by conducting periodic account reviews. Summarize the value you’re providing and pinpoint areas for improvement.