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14 Ways To Retain New Customers And Grow The Business

Dec 3, 2022

The ability to convert a potential client to a longtime loyal patron never happens overnight. However, if you play your cards right, take the time to meet them where they currently are and understand how you’ll both be a good fit for each other, you will make progress and develop a solid business relationship built on trust and empathy. That's where it all begins.

Once you are able to create a consistent rapport with the client, you'll be able to problem-solve together and demonstrate the value of the products or services your company is ready and willing to bring to the table.

To help other leaders maximize every prospect and partnership that comes their way, 14 experts from Forbes Business Development Council share their best sales hacks below.

Forbes Business Development Council members share their insight.

Photos of individual members.

1. Be Willing To Listen First

Our initial sales calls are always conducted for gathering information. The second sales call is where we tell them what we heard on the first call. Once the prospect knows that we understand them, we're able to gather additional information and create a visual presentation that illustrates how we are going to solve their pain points and meet their requirements. - Ellen Williams, Orion Global Solutions LLC

2. Create A Customized Pitch

The key to maximizing every prospect is to interact with multiple stakeholders (decision-makers, influencers, detractors) before closing a deal in a B2B scenario. A good understanding of the persona, their role in that organization and their buying process is key. The hack that has worked for us is customizing the pitch to that persona in the context of their organization. - Milind Katti, DemandFarm

3. Walk In The Customer's Shoes

Putting yourself in a prospect's shoes is imperative. I try running their business. That involves not only brainstorming about their pain points (which is useful but can still be very far from reality), but also actually troubleshooting everyday problems with them to figure out the best strategies and acting as a co-founder as opposed to yet another sales exec who doesn't have any skin in their game. - Valerie Alfimova, Appodeal Stack

4. Ask For Feedback And Referrals

One method we use is to create referral and review cards and automatic emails asking for feedback and referrals. Another idea is to pre-qualify them before we even step into the sales process by making sure we are a good fit for them and they are a good fit for us by asking key questions related to their project. - Bill Baker, Surface Solutions Countertops Inc.

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify?

5. Leverage Unified Data Tools

Ensure better alignment across customer-facing teams. By leveraging unified tools that pool data and insights, sales and marketing and support teams can work in tandem to extend lifetime customer value, which maximizes prospects considerably. Enabling collaboration between customer-facing teams can turn a one-time sale into a meaningful, long-term customer relationship, driving repeat and new business. - Vijay Sundaram, Zoho Corporation

6. Express Empathy And Demonstrate Value

Lead with value, not with a mindset to sell. If your prospect feels that you care, empathize or resonate with their challenge and want to add value to them, your interactions will naturally progress into a sale. A great way to close a sale is to ask the potential client why they might need your help. This subconsciously and expressly justifies the sale in the mind of the potential client. - Angelica Kopec, She Knows Business

7. Make Sure You Target The Right Audience

Building a go-to-market framework up front that matches your target audience with appropriate messaging and solutions maximizes every prospect interaction. They will feel you know them and have done your homework. We use ads and social media in a way that allows us to get the right message to the right audience. The result is higher quality leads and higher closing rates for the sales team. - Serrah Linares, Change Healthcare

8. Hire And Train A Well-Networked Sales Staff

If there has to be a hack involved in the selling process, the product is not worth selling! If your company employs a sales staff that is knowledgeable and committed to their products, they will be able to help the client become successful. A well-networked salesperson will become part of a customer's first-to-call list when situations arise as they know you're there for them first. - Jason Holden, Akkerman

9. Highlight Product Testimonials And Reviews

Use product testimonials and reviews to your advantage. Positive reviews from clients offer third-party approval that can help close a deal. Many people consult reviews before making a purchase, but not many customers provide them. Securing more reviews for your business can boost your credibility and can be done in a cost-effective manner. - Claire Alexander, Capterra

10. Start With A Small But Focused Audience

It is better to focus on a smaller audience and grow with that audience rather than trying to reach out to everyone with little to no personal relationship. - Laura Vidiella del Blanco, LedgerPrime

11. Conduct Research Using Social Recon Tools

Do social recon to investigate the online presence and footprint of current and potential clients. Our social media presence is our digital handshake in the modern world. So, take 10 minutes to do research about what they like and what they do, and install some of the better assessment plugins into your browser so you can have AI run personality assessments straight from their social media accounts to give you a head start on learning how they prefer to be communicated with. - Jethro Hopkins, Fulcrum HR Consulting LLC

12. Understand Their Pain Points And Expectations

You need to know their pain points, why they are looking for a solution and what their expectations are. Gathering this information will assist you in understanding how best to present your company's offerings. Make sure you cover all of those paint points, nothing more. Then stay silent, let them process and wait for questions. - Manuel Sordo, Apera AI Inc.

13. Be Open To Collaborating With Your Network

Ask your prospect about their tech stack, and if they’re working with one of your partners, use it as a co-selling opportunity. Partners can provide valuable intel about a prospect, connect you to new contacts at your prospect’s company and help move the sales process along. Don’t be afraid to reach out and collaborate, as you can be a force of multipliers together. - Hayden Stafford, Seismic

14. Don't Break The Client's Trust, Ever

It is essential for leaders to provide clients with value, show impact and be willing to build trust. There is no shortcut around it. So, lead with the value that your solution or product brings to the prospect. Then focus and clearly highlight the impact that your product or solution can bring to the prospect, giving them a competitive advantage. Finally, earn the client's trust and never break it—no matter what. Always consider what is in the best interest of the prospect because every prospect has the potential to become a customer for life. - Bharath Yadla, Workato

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