More years ago than I care to remember I met Peter Thomson and spent lots of time in his development programmes. One of things that he taught me that was very simple (but rarely used) is the Magic Matrix.
This is a way to identify new business from existing customers and it is, literally, a matrix.
Here’s how it works:
Write all your products and/or services down the left-hand column and the names of all your customers across the columns at the top from left to right.
Put a tick in the box where the customer knows about the product or service.
Anywhere there is no tick is an opportunity to educate existing clients about other things you can offer them.
It sounds obvious, but there are two issues:
Without a bit of thought, many organisations ‘forget’ some of the services they offer. In fact, some companies don’t even count things they could charge for – like advice based on their expertise (one corporate’s senior team spent a whole day brainstorming all their offerings and not one person in the time was aware of ALL the things they did!)
Many people assume that their clients know about the range of offerings and are surprised when a client resources a service or product elsewhere – because they didn’t know it was available for their trusted supplier. Don’t assume; educate.
It’s also a great excuse to call clients that you’ve done work with previously and haven’t spoken to for a while – “I was just thinking about you and thought I’d give you a call – how’s business?”
When they’ve had their say you might find that something that you offer could actually help them. Even if there’s no ‘hook’ to hang it on, you can always say “As it’s a while since we spoke I wondered if you knew that we are helping people with X”.
Even if they don’t ‘bite’ right away, you’ve planted the seed.
How else can you educate your clients – and others?
Write blogs, articles for LinkedIn or the publications your ideal clients read on specific offerings. Aim to educate rather than sell – but ensure that the reader is in no doubt that you’re an expert in this area.
Why work hard making cold calls when you can talk to people who already know you and gather business as you go?