Fresh eyes

Unlock the hidden value of your clients

Unlock the hidden value of your clients

Written by Mark Brennan,
Head of Digital; Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Freshfield

For any business owner targeting growth in 2014, the default position is likely to be a new customer acquisition programme. While this approach (if planned and delivered well) could well achieve your growth aspirations you may be missing a golden opportunity that is right under your nose – namely increasing sales to your existing clients.

Studies have revealed that the probability of winning new business from a new prospect is just 5 to 20 percent. Conversely, the probability of winning new work from an existing customer is 60 to 70 per cent!

One of most common way to increase the value of a client is by cross-selling additional services.

Here are my top five tips for cross-selling success:

  1. Understand the scale of the opportunity – to do this, set up a matrix with your client list running vertically down the page and the services you offer horizontally across the page. Run through the list one client at a time recording whether the client uses the service or not. Every ‘no’ on your matrix is a potential growth opportunity that you need to investigate.
  2.  Approach opportunities with a ‘client hat’ on – your goal is to offer the services relevant to your client. You need to understand the benefits that the additional service(s) offer the client, how it will help them and be able to articulate this. For example, an accountant’s client may not understand that they need quarterly management accounts but are much more likely to recognise their need for more regular financial data on which they can base strategic decisions.
  3.  Harness the power of ‘listening time’ – ensure that you spend time with clients, understand their business and how you can help it grow by offering additional services. For example, if a law firm knows their client is embarking on a major re-brand then they could explore whether the brand has been trademarked – and explain the perils of not protecting your brand identity.
  4.  Don’t put a square peg in a round hole – if your business is organised around specialist technical areas don’t expect your client account managers to understand and be able to sell them all. Instead, pair up your client account manager with a technical specialist to create a cross-selling ‘dream team’.
  5. Give an incentive for consolidating their work in one place – chances are that the work you are chasing is currently being handled by a competitor. To change the status quo you need to offer an incentive to place the business with you. This can be a financial incentive – but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you might have a different approach to the work, specialist knowledge that your competitor doesn’t have or you can just save the client valuable time currently spent briefing multiple suppliers.

For further information contact Freshfield on 01772 888400 or email

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