When consultants think about growing their practice, most lean towards client acquisition.
While there’s no arguing that attracting and landing new consulting clients will be a critical factor in your success. There is however an often forgotten and more profitable option to grow your consulting business – selling more to your existing clients.
Asking your clients what challenges they are facing, what they’d like to have but currently don’t, allows you to respond with a solution or recommendations. This often leads to new work.
Selling to existing clients is far easier than selling to new ones as they already know you and trust you. Plus, it costs less and therefore makes it highly profitable.
In today’s post I’m going to share with you seven ways you can sell more services to your existing clients:
The Pareto Principle states (in this case) that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. Which clients are you focusing on? Which ones are you giving your highest level of care and attention to? Which ones are most likely to continue working with you and be open to hiring you to help them with additional projects? Look at your client list and find your most valuable buyers.
Give New Ideas to Grow THEIR Business
Show your clients new ideas and how they can be used to build their business. By doing so they are very likely to hire you to help them with the new project. You already know their business, industry, strengths and weaknesses (they are an existing client after all) so you’re well positioned to make these recommendations.
Offer Complimentary Services
What business is your client in? How are you helping them? Is there a complimentary service that they could benefit from that you can generate additional revenue by providing or making an introduction? For example, let’s say you’re a brand strategy consultant. You may be guiding your client through a corporate rebranding project. They’ll likely need new signage, business cards, website updates, and the list goes on. Can you offer those services through your company or create a strategic alliance with someone that can and in the process increase your revenue per project?
Grow with Your Client
As your client’s business continues to grow they will likely need to make changes, whether it’s within their staffing, systems, marketing, technology and so on to accommodate that growth. As a consultant to their business you are in a good place to foresee what changes will be needed and can assess to see if you can add value down the line. Set the expectation with your client that you’ll be ready to help them throughout their growth and educate them throughout the whole process. When they are ready to make those changes you’ll be the one they call.
Share New Research and Data
This is a variation of the above idea “This is a variation of the above idea”. In this case you are continuously sending your client new research, data, and news that is relevant to their business. You can include your opinion and ideas for how they can use the new research or data to benefit their business. And it’s likely that you’ll be part of putting those ideas in place.
Any additional work that you recommend should be focused on producing greater value to your consulting client.
Run Surveys to Uncover Opportunities
Another way to sell more services to your existing clients is to find out what they need. Asking your clients what challenges they are facing, what they’d like to have but currently don’t, allows you to respond with a solution or recommendations. This often leads to new work.
Move to a Pay-on-Performance Structure
This approach may not involve selling ‘more’ services but it can definitely increase your revenue per project. Here you’ll take no upfront payment; rather you’ll get a percentage of the improvement and value you produce. This structure won’t work in all situations and you want to be sure you have a strong relationship with your client if you’re going to go this route. While it won’t work for everyone, when it does work it can significantly increase your income.
It doesn’t matter which of these approaches you use. What’s important is that you always have your client’s best interest at the forefront. Any additional work that you recommend should be focused on producing greater value to your consulting client.
Now, which of these have you tried?
Have you found other ways to sell more services to your clients?
Let me know in the comments below…