Every business wants to grow their incoming revenue. There are plenty of tips out there to teach you how to build a following, gain new customers and reach more people. But finding new leads and converting them to new sales can be time consuming and expensive. And more sales might be closer than you think.
Your existing customers are a great place to find sales. Instead of focusing all of your energy exclusively on finding new clients, remember you have a pool of people who already know you and your products. This is an extremely valuable group for you as a business to tap into.
Here are 5 ways you can generate more revenue from your existing customer base.
1. Ask for Referrals
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Trust is one of the most important things a customer needs to make a purchase. And hearing a friend recommend your products or services can give them the trust they need to buy from you.
But how can you get past buyers to recommend you? Part of this comes from building a genuine, customer-focused brand, where a customer’s experience is so positive, they naturally become a brand ambassador without any incentives. We’ll talk about building this brand image in another point. For now, let’s look at some examples of how you can incentivize past buyers to refer their friends.Ideas to incentivize referrals
- Offer a discount: “Refer a friend and you’ll both get $10 off your next purchase!”
- Incentivize social media sharing: “Share this on your social media and tag us to get 10% off your next purchase!”
- Ask for referrals after they make a purchase: “Who do you know who could benefit from this product? Pass this on to them!” Include an easy to share link.
2. Upsell and Cross-sell
Another way to leverage existing customers is to get them to buy just a little bit more with every purchase. There are two ways to do this: upselling and cross-selling. Upselling is when you convince a customer to buy a better quality product than they were originally going to.
For example, say you have 3 product levels: basic, standard, and premium. A customer is interested in buying your standard product. Your goal should be to convince them how many more benefits they would gain by spending just a little bit more to buy the premium product.Examples of upselling
- A customer is interested in buying some of your roasted coffee, you show them how much better the big bag or the premium roast is
- A customer is interested in buying one of your handcrafted necklaces, you talk up a more premium necklace with authentic gemstones
- A customer is interested in buying your land lotion, you show them the larger size or convince them to buy the more expensive hand cream
Cross-selling also asks a customer to spend a little more than they originally intended. But instead of asking them to buy a better version of the same product, you show them an accessory or additional product they should also buy.
Examples of cross-selling
- A customer is buying some of your roasted coffee, you sell them the vision of drinking that fresh coffee in one of your new mugs
- A customer is buying your handcrafted necklace, you offer them the earrings as a matching set
- A customer is buying your hand lotion, you show them the same scent comes as a perfume or body wash
Upselling and cross-selling can be a great way to make just a little bit more from every customer that makes a purchase.
3. Be Customer-Focused
People love companies who see them as people, not just dollar signs. Customers who feel valued leave great reviews, return for more, and tell their friends they should check you out too. Be customer-focused and the revenue will follow.How to be customer-focused
- Make your website and communication channels a stellar user experience
- Listen to a customer’s needs and wants
- Be empathetic in customer service
- Go above and beyond to help
4. Be a Well-Rounded Brand Online
Most companies want to focus on their services and products only. Why yours is the best, how you can help people, why they should buy. But people are multifaceted and they like to see a business that is too.Consider the following
- What values do you have as a company outside of selling products? (livable wages, green living, donating profits to charity)
- If your company was a person, how would you describe them? (fun and quirky, cool and relaxed, professional and official)
- How can you engage or communicate more with your customers? (direct messaging, running polls on social media, asking for engagement “comment which scent you’re most excited about!”)
Your existing customers may know you make organic soaps and lotions. But as they interact with you or see your brand after purchasing, they want to know more about who you are. Show them you are worth buying from again, because you are interesting and have bigger goals than just sales. You are worth supporting because of your company values and what you stand for as a business.
5. Prove You Are an Expert
Remember one of the most important things a customer needs to make a purchase? Trust. Another way to build trust is by proving to customers you are the expert in your field. You want them to see you as their trusted resource for all questions. If you sell cleaning products, you want them to look you up the next time they have an impossible stain. You can build this reputation by providing value in the content you share.Here are a few ways you can build yourself up as an expert
- Bring value and education to the content you share (blogs, social media posts, your website copy, etc.)
- Compare yourself with a competitor or “other industry brands” and show how you are better (think of Bounty paper towel commercials sharing a side-by-side video of themselves and other paper towel brands cleaning up a spill)
- Get your name out there (the more people see you, the more they will consider you competent in what you do, compared to a brand they’ve never heard of)
As existing customers use your products and see your name everywhere, they will think twice before checking out your competitors. They will begin to see you as the expert in your field and stick with your products.
Continue the Conversation
Business is about building relationships. With existing customers, you don’t have to spend time and money introducing yourself. They’ve already started the conversation with their purchase. Continue the conversation by showing them what else you offer, who you are as a company, or entice them to tell their friends about you.
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-Julie & Jess
Two women on a mission to help you clear the chaos and craft your dream business!
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