Winning business is never easy – just a slight change in your business can give you enough of an advantage to win! The vast majority of businesses simply ignore the top two sources of quality sales leads!

Number one source of more business – existing customers!

Number two source of more business – referrals!

Existing Customers: When was the last time you sat down and telephoned every customer that have ever done business with you? Sure, you have a few regulars that you keep in touch with but how many do you simply ignore? My guess is most!

Do you know that the incumbent salesperson has almost ten times the sales advantage of a new supplier? Businesses hate to change suppliers and will tend to stay with an average supplier who keeps in touch rather than risk a mistake with a new supplier. Inertia works to the advantage of the incumbent salesperson but for each month you do not keep in touch your influence drops by 10%!

In other words, losing existing customers is actually hard work! It is 10 times easier to keep existing customers than win new customers!

Establishing trust is the biggest hurdle of any sales process and you have that with your existing customers. Why would you waste it? The fact is most businesses do waste and seem more interested in acquiring new customers than holding on to and building relationships with existing customers.

Go after the low hanging fruit – your existing customer!

Referrals: This is the Gold Standard of sales leads! When we have a good relationship with a supplier we are more than likely (if asked) to recommend the service to an associate. Referrals are powerful because they come from a credible third-party that has actually experienced the benefits of doing business with you. They are even more powerful when they come from a friend because you know that a friend has no ulterior motivations (trust) but to do what’s in your best interest. You can believe what your friend is saying rather than hearing a commercial from a salesperson whose sole purpose is to make money from you.

Referrals are also valuable because most of the time they are completely free. How would you like to receive the benefits of the most compelling sales advertisement on earth for absolutely nothing? You can through referrals.

Research shows the importance of referrals. Our research demonstrates customers based on the recommendations of others select 49% of most service businesses. Customers that give referrals become more loyal to you and your business. Once someone stands up and makes a public statement about you, psychologically they will become much more loyal to you and your business.

Referrals will happen as a result of delivering great business but to really make referrals happen you need to ask for them! Put as much effort into your referral efforts as you do into your regular outbound selling and you will get results – it takes patience but you will get better results with time and effort.

Your chance of winning a new customer? One out of ten!

Your chance of winning a referred customer? Five out of ten!

Your chance of winning an existing customer? Nine out of ten!

Wyn Nathan Davis

Wyn Nathan Davis MBA DTM is a London based sales recruiter, sales trainer and sales process consultant. A best selling author and professional speaker. Wyn is Managing Director of The sales Experts. Contact us for more details connect@thesalesexperts.com +44 (0)20 536 5591