Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
How to Turn Your Clients into a Dynamic Sales Force
By Victoria Munro
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.
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.
follow through on leads promptly, expressing sincere
appreciation and, when appropriate, giving suitable
thank you gifts.
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
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.
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.
need to contact everyone, simply select five
or six possible candidates and send them a
letter requesting permission for someone to
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?"
the data gathered and highlight common themes
on possible changes that you can implement.
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
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
a plan to continually stay in front of clients
and potential clients with newsletters, thank
you notes, announcements, invitations and special
their needs in mind and
send them helpful articles and ideas that you
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.
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
for other companies.
This gets your name out there
at no cost.
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
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.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
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
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