Sales is a bit like dating. That first kiss is nerve wracking but the second is easy. There is a lesson in that for business owners looking for ways to increase revenue, which is top of mind now as they look optimistically to the year ahead.
More often than not, business owners exert effort trying to expand their client or customer base. It is the business owner’s default — more revenue needs to come from more customers. But if you are in a relationship-based business (versus transaction based), then look to other services to offer in your repertoire. It is likely easier to make repeat sales to existing clients who trust and value your work versus finding new ones. Many business owners don’t spend enough time getting creative in this way.
Adding more clients can be a greater challenge than adding to the menu of services, as long as new services don’t water down your primary services.
Think of ways that you can cross-serve your clients. The retention of your clients or customers will also increase if they have more services or products with you. It might be easier to leave you as a client if someone comes in with a cheaper price on a service, but if you have a good relationship and you are also assisting them with many lines of work, than it is going to be harder for them to cut the chord.
Brainstorming questions to ask yourself:
- When my clients come to me for help, they may also have questions about ___________________?
- What things are typically going on in my client’s life when they are seeking my help?
- What are additional services am I familiar with and will make me a better practitioner if I learn more about them?
- What are the services that I can add to my menu that wouldn’t increase my labor intensity or expenses significantly?
- Who can I partner with or profitably employ to add additional services to help my existing clients?
Related: Should I Expand My Business?
Some of these could have conflicts of interest in certain circumstances but here are a few examples of professions that can cross serve… some common, some a little out there:
- CPA’s getting their investment licenses.
- Attorneys getting their insurance producers licenses.
- Realtors having interior decorating expertise.
- CPAs or business insurance agencies offering coaching and consulting services.
- Veterinarians offering training or doggie day care services.
- Tutors and babysitting.
- Web design and marketing plan consulting.
- Catering services and invitations.
If the relationship is there and you are willing to take on new learning or a new employee, cross serving your existing clients can be a great way to help you have your best year ever in 2018.