To Get New Customers, Focus on Your Current Ones

I find that building on current success is a very strong way to increase business or customers, and has many advantages over starting from scratch. While nothing is wrong in exploring new territories or markets, focusing on the current customers seems to be a much stronger and surer way to build your business.

Let’s first notice that a repeat customer is as good as a new one. If my client is working with me this month, and they decide to continue with me next month, it’s as good as getting a new client next month. Even better actually, because the trust has already been established, and the relationship is much more efficient than a new relationship that is just starting. So simply making sure that you are satisfying your current customers, ensures that they will continue with you in the future.

I also think that the best way to improve awareness of your brand is to focus on making sure existing customers are knowledgable and get used to utilizing more services or products that you provide. This will make sure that they rely more on you, know you more, and make switching even harder. In turn, this is another way of ensuring that they stay longer, possibly investing more and that’s again as good as new business.

From a logistics perspective, if you already have customers who buy your products, then you already have systems in place to talk to them, visit them, communicate through newsletters, and ship products. Since they already trust you it’s much easier for them to take a chance on something new, and it will cost you close to nothing to market to them.

The better you take care of your current customers the more likely they are to refer and recommend you to their friends. And when you are referred by someone who has dealt with you or bought your products and already trusts you, most of the hard work will have been done for you. The new client has the homework done for them, by someone they know and trust, someone who has gone through the process of living with your product or relying on your service. Now it’s mainly getting down to details and pricing.

How to Deal With Rejection

Question it!
That was the most important lesson I learned from the seminar I attended today, by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of The Art of Living. He gave a one-hour talk about several issues, and gave some tips for life. The idea that really struck me was the following:

We only question the things that are given to us in the positive. We never question the negative stuff.

When someone says, "You were great!" or, "I really admire you!", we usually reply, "Really??". But when someone says, "You are really bad at handling things" we immediately believe, and feel the need to defend ourselves and try to prove something.
The next time I am confronted with a negative idea (by anyone or by myself), I'll face it with the not-so-obvious question, "Are you sure? Do you really think so?". I'll keep questioning until they (or I) really start to rethink that idea. And whenever I get a great positive idea, I'm not going to question it, just for a change.
An important thing that this does, is that it immediately interrupts the attacking person's assault. You give them a totally unexpected response, and you really make them wonder and think about the validity of what they are claiming. A very good sales technique!