Many modern marketing guides and gurus put a heavy focus on active lead generation, winning new business, and growing your sales ledger through continually sourcing new customers. But what can you do when your lead-gen tactics just aren’t producing results?
Surprisingly, the solution may lie in focussing on keeping your existing customers sweet. It might sound counterintuitive, but giving your attention to current customers rather than scouting for new business can help to bring in new leads over the long-term. Here, we’ll take a look at a few example strategies to employ.
Testimonials and Reviews
From vague claims like “nine out of ten people agree” to full-blown case studies, the evidence supports the fact that testimonials and customer reviews have a very positive effect on consumer opinion and sales.
According to widely quoted research by Nielsen, 92% of us trust recommendations from friends or peers, and 70% trust reviews from strangers. Putting reviews on your website and other marketing materials boosts trust in your brand - but it’s only possible if you have enough happy customers to recommend you.
HubSpot refers to this group of happy customers as “evangelists” - the ones who love your brand and products and will sing your praises to their colleagues and friends. People enter this group if they’re treated well by your business and valued as customers, and the effort it takes to get them there is repaid with the reviews and trust they build for you.
Schemes that reward customers for inviting their friends and colleagues are nothing new – but they can be a great avenue to exploit if you’re struggling for new business. Just as with testimonials and reviews, people are much more likely to buy a product or service if it comes highly recommended, and adding a referral incentive for your existing customers only further increases the chances of growing your customer base.
Offers can include anything from free products for the referrers to savings and special deals for both parties. Of course, you’ll only get customers making referrals if they love your business – no one wants to turn their friends on to a bad product and be blamed for that friend wasting their time and money. Referrals can take place in a B2B setting too, of course, with your name being mentioned at networking events or passed around between friendly CEOs – and free trials, money-off codes and product upgrades work just as well with businesses as they do with individuals.
Particularly in B2B marketing, repeat business can be a vital source of revenue - but it’s only going to come if you keep customers happy. Existing, happy customers can be upsold to new products, signed onto ongoing contracts and other valuable options which new leads can’t.
There are guides out there to help you with building a close relationship with your customers and clients, but it centres on being invaluable to their business. Go the extra mile, meet all of their needs and never let them down - only then will they be ready to stick with you, recommend you to others and refer you valuable business.
If you haven't caught it, check out our in-depth guide to quality lead gen (post GDPR).