Most people consider that this means getting more customers, but you’ve probably heard the saying that it’s harder to get a new customer than to increase sales to existing customers.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for new business, but that your strategy needs to have more than one ‘spoke’ to your wheel.
Here are a few things that will grow your business – or at least your profit:
- Networking – online and offline. But beware of randomly contacting people, have a clear idea of who would be a good match as a client and start building relationships with people who match that description.
The secret is to get to know people, to ask about their business and understand what their challenges are. How can you help? If you don’t have the right skillset, could you introduce them to someone who has (and who you trust to do a good job)? Being known as a connector is also valuable and creates reciprocity. They won’t forget you (and neither will the company you’ve referred in).
Ask better questions of your contacts as your relationship grows and help them to understand what a good client for you looks like. Even if they’re not ready to buy they may know someone who is.
- Get recommended. Happy clients are usually also happy to refer you to others. However, there’s a big difference between ‘you should contact X company’ and ‘let me introduce you to my buddy, John, at X company.’
Have conversations with your existing customers and ask them who they know who would value your skills/products and ask them to introduce you. This might be an email introduction, better still a phone call or, best of all, taking you along to meet the new contact.
- Play the numbers game. You don’t need to get new clients to improve your profits, you just need to know how to play the numbers game.
When was the last time you put your prices up? If it’s more than a year ago, now would be a good time to add 10%. That means you’ll get more income for the same effort – and most customers don’t mind paying for good value.
Do all your customers know about everything you do? If you educate them they might purchase more from you. Even a 10% increase in purchases from each customer will make a difference to your profit – and with very little effort.
Small changes in your pricing and pitching will result in big differences in your bottom line.
These aren’t either/or tactics – do them all and you’ll be surprised at the difference.