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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyHow to Turn Your Clients into a Dynamic Sales Force
By Victoria Munro

Printable version

Take advantage of an often untapped and worthwhile resource by focusing your marketing efforts on current customers. This will cost less and produce greater results than targeting new customers, since your existing clients understand what you do, how much it costs and value what you have to say. Below are seven low-cost ideas to make the most of the market you already have.


Ask current clients for referrals. If you don't ask, they may assume that you don't need more clients and probably give little thought to whom they might refer. Turn them into a dynamic sales force for your company.

Always follow through on leads promptly, expressing sincere appreciation and, when appropriate, giving suitable thank you gifts.


Listen to your customers, educate yourself and become aware of their needs and the challenges they face. Learn to see the world from their perspective and seek to serve them rather than sell to them. Are you crystal clear on how your product or service benefits clients? What value does it bring to them?

Develop an attitude of excitement about continually striving to improve your service or product line to better serve your customer. Determine never to be content with the status quo.


Survey existing customers and learn what they really want. They are far more likely to give honest feedback if someone outside your company handles the survey.

No need to contact everyone, simply select five or six possible candidates and send them a letter requesting permission for someone to contact them.
Carefully craft no more than three or four questions they'll be asked that will provide you with the most useful information. In his book, The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth, Fred Reichheld asserts that the only question you really need to ask is, "How likely are you to refer this company to a friend or colleague?"
Compile the data gathered and highlight common themes and issues.
Decide on possible changes that you can implement.
Send all customers who participated a letter of thanks, letting them know how helpful their contributions were and what changes you’re planning to make as a result.

Ask former clients why they left. Your goal here is to learn valuable lessons, rather than attempting to woo them back. However, listening carefully to their concerns and expressing a sincere desire to provide a premium product or service could result in a second chance to gain their business.

4. Host an appreciation dinner or lunch for your 'raving fans' and ask them to help you brainstorm ideas on how you might improve your service, provide more useful products or more effectively market your company.

Create a plan to continually stay in front of clients and potential clients with newsletters, thank you notes, announcements, invitations and special reports. Keep their needs in mind and send them helpful articles and ideas that you come across.

Establish an automated system to call all customers on a regular basis (perhaps once a quarter), make sure they're not having any problems with your product or service and request ideas on ways you could improve. Keeping a well-maintained contact management system is essential.


Collect and use testimonials from happy, satisfied customers who appreciate you and what you offer. Use these to gain increased credibility in your marketing materials. Make it easy for clients to write a testimonial—provide guidelines and an outline. When confidentiality isn’t required, add their information, including website address.

Write testimonials for other companies. This gets your name out there at no cost.


Whenever you ship or deliver a product, include a coupon or information on other products that your customer could benefit from. Provide customers with a reason to call and order from you again. Include a small marketing piece with your statements and invoices. Make sure that all marketing materials are customer-friendly and professional. Don't sabotage your efforts with less-than-professional materials.

When you see an exceptional business card or brochure, find out who designed it, seek them out, commend them on their fine work and learn what they may be able do for your company.

Creative marketing ideas abound, but consistently keeping in touch with and delighting your customers will yield the best results. Aim to turn your clients into raving fans—passionate sales people to spread the word about your business.

(723 words)

© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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