Growing revenues with existing customers – Through effective relationship management

Do you want to grow revenues – despite the economic climate? Or maybe even win some revenues to stand still?  (Which is still probably enabling you to grow market share – which will pay off when growth resumes!)

Tip:  Start first by growing revenues with your existing accounts.

A rough rule of thumb is that it costs ten times more to get incremental revenues from new customers as it does with existing customers.

This blog has two suggestions for how you can grow revenues with existing customers.

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  1. Ensure all your customers know all the things you can do for them.  Send out a newsletter, or better still contact hem personally to confirm they are happy with your product/service offering X and then to see if they would be interesting in trying your offering Y which they need but haven’t historically purchased from you.
  2. Make sure you know who’s who at your key accounts.  Do you know your allies and enemies?  Do you know who makes decisions, who influences and who doesn’t?  You should – and here’s a tool for clarifying your action plans!

Use a legendary 2 x 2 matrix to plot out all your contacts at a key account.

Score and plot each person on the matrix as follows:

low – high vertically on the extent they are an ally or an enemy

low → high left → right on the extent to which they influence or make decisions

Then take action according to their position on the grid as follows, in increasing order of importance.

Bottom left – No problem

As long as you are right about their limited influence, you should be able to ignore these people. Just be careful to be sure about your analysis. Remember organisation charts only show the formal relationships in the business!

Top left – Useful friends

These people may not be important in the decision themselves, but can be useful sources of information and intelligence. Work with them and solicit their advice and assistance in winning the work.

Top right – Business winners

These people are key. Keep them on your side by giving them what they need to win the debate on your behalf.

Bottom right – Business losers

This is where you need to focus your attention and skills. As decisions makers not on your side, you have to either get them on board with your case, or minimise their involvement in the decision if you are to win!

With acknowledgements to Phil Jesson, the key account management man, for his talk to MD2MD and the tools from which I developed the above refined tool.

Written by Bob Bradley, founder of MD2MD.