Six Steps to Help You Grow Your Business Through Existing Clients

client growth arrowGrowing your business and increasing profit margins is hard work, especially in the small business sector. One of the ways to succeed in this area is to add new clients on a consistent basis. New clients mean new projects plus added revenue and profit. However, businesses and agencies alike often focus too much effort on adding to their customer base and overlook the value of growing their business through their current clients.  At The BLU Group – Advertising and Marketing we love our current clients and one of the ways we show that love is by supporting their businesses. Whether it is shopping at their stores, purchasing their products on a regular basis, using their services, or even promoting them on our personal social media pages, we take interest in their business and hold a stake in their success. After all, their business is what keeps us in business. Therefore, to ensure that we’re taking great care of our current clients, we dedicate time every month to brainstorm ideas and recommendations that can help grow their business. These recommendations can range from how to improve customer satisfaction and the overall presentation of their “product” to new marketing ideas and channels to promote current campaigns. We don’t do this for every client and each company has to consider the amount of resources they want to dedicate to unbillable time (not every client will pay you for this unfortunately), but providing recommendations on growing their business helps to strengthen the relationship by showing dedication and giving them added value.  It also provides a shared benefit, with new projects for the agency, if implemented. Below are six guidelines I follow when creating recommendations for our clients on how to grow their business:

  1. Designate Time – Whether it be on a monthly or weekly basis, set aside time in your schedule to devote to appropriate clients in your client list. Doing so will make you accountable and ensure that it doesn’t get overlooked when your schedule gets hectic. Our President schedules a monthly meeting to touch base with the account team to ensure that we stay on-track and to brainstorm additional ideas.
  2. Think Outside the Box – I’m sure you have several initial recommendations that are top of mind that you feel could benefit your client’s business. Four-six months from now, it may be a little harder to come up with fresh recommendations. To continue to provide value, you will need to think outside the box and investigate new ideas by digging further into your client’s business and potential avenues to grow their business.
  3. Research Industry and Competition – To ensure that you’re providing the most valuable recommendations, you need to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in your clients’ industry. Research what the trends are, what the market is doing, and even what their competition is doing. Do not work in a bubble; take time to learn what their customers are thinking and how they make their buying decisions.
  4. Stay Organized – Keep records of everything you recommend and take notes on key conversation points. Keep a folder for each client in your client list so it’s easy to monitor and reference down-the-road.
  5. Monitor Progress – This step goes hand-in-hand with staying organized. When you organize feedback, be sure to monitor what the response was and what the next step is. Maybe the client loved the idea, but wanted to wait 6 months to implement, or perhaps they wanted to present it to their colleagues or their board. Be sure you schedule follow-ups and outline the next steps so you can stay on top of how your recommendations are received, and how to take the next step in implementation.
  6. Sell It! – At The BLU Group we believe that everything should be “sold”. Whether you’re selling your skills and abilities during a weekly meeting or through a conference report, selling an idea for a new campaign or internal program, or selling your existing clients on the ideas we are discussing here…everything should be treated like a sales presentation. Don’t get lazy.

Putting a plan in place and following key guidelines will contribute to the success of helping your clients grow their business, and in turn your own. After all, it’s cheaper to keep an existing client than it is to find a new one. Do you actively recommend solutions for your clients to help grow their business? What other guidelines or tips do you currently use to achieve this goal?