Sometimes you just need to get cashflow, well, flowing. When that’s the case, I usually recommend turning to your current client base. Your current clients are your best prospects. Why? Because it’s not very likely that 100% of them are receiving 100% of your potential service offerings. Surely you have good intentions, but cross-selling to current clients isn’t usually done with as much clarity of intention as it could be, which means you’re leaving money – and client satisfaction – on the table. There is likely some great service that you’ve started offering lately or that you’ve gotten good at and think that more people/companies could benefit from. Here are six reasons you should get organized, and start selling to current clients.
Identifiable Target Market
You literally know who you’re going after. After choosing what service you’re going to offer, think through what characteristics an appropriate target client would have and run a report in your database. For a CPA firm it might be that you can promote business valuations to privately held companies whose owners are 62+. For an estate planning firm, it might be families with kids who turned 18 so you can offer health care proxies. For a wealth manager it might be new grandparents so you can help them with a 529 plan. Whatever you have to offer, there’s a report you can run in your database to help you find the right target market. Plan to do this step separately for each potential service offering!
Inherent in your relationship with clients is that as their advisor, when you talk, they listen. It would be my advice that you put together some basic marketing language about the benefits of the service you’re about to promote, but that you don’t get bogged down by this process. Certainly, be sure that your service is described on your website in case anyone looks for it. I would also suggest writing at least one educational blog post on the benefits of your service so that you can share the link with prospects during your conversations.
Selling to current clients is often most effective when it’s done in terms of helping the client address an issue that they didn’t know they have, or that they knew about but haven’t gotten around to addressing. That is to say, you’re probably going to find the best results when you make a personal call, not rely on mass-emails or other hands-off tactics. Feel free to tee this up by email if you find that your clients would prefer to schedule a time to talk rather than finding you on the other end of unexpectedly.
Clients LOVE when their service providers are proactive. It is a great benefit to them that you can identify a risk area or need in their life/business and solve it before they have any problems. They will expect a bill and will likely gladly pay it – though pricing transparency and communication is always a best practice in this area.
Clients that use your firm for multiple services are stickier; which is to say that they have a greater switching cost and are less likely to move to the competition. They also feel more connected to you and feel more invested in your relationship. They’ll give you more leeway in the case of a mistake. So, offering this new service of yours can help to keep your current clients – and added bonus beyond the short-term revenue boost.
Dollars in the door
Last, but certainly not least, selling to current clients is the fastest way to get new dollars in the door. You can skip right over the awareness generating marketing, the get-to-know-you phase, the decision making and engagement learning curve, etc., and skip right to the part you love best…. Serving clients and providing great value (oh, and collecting on invoices).