Simple Ways to Grow and Capitalize on Your Customer Base

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By Ellie Kassner

Excerpt: A few consistent activities with both existing and potential customers can help your business expand.

There are two ways to grow a business: either get more people to buy your product/service or sell more products/services to people who have already bought something from you. When you're looking at taking your business to the next level, both groups are essential to expanding your customer base in strength and numbers. The key to interacting effectively with both groups is consistency, which you can master by focusing on the following actions.

Cross-sell your existing clients
These customers have already taken the plunge with you. They have already given you money or signed a contract. However, it's important not to take them for granted or to assume that they know everything you do. Are you offering a new product or service? Tell them about it by attaching a one-page ad or brief marketing materials to every email. Share links to your new offering on social media.

Create marketing materials you're proud of
In order to cross-sell, you have to have marketing materials you're proud to send to your clients. This includes your website, brochure and ads. But don't stop there! Business cards, letterhead, email signatures and all other visual and written representations of your company should match. Investing in this branding is really inexpensive compared to the value of the sales you'll make when clients see how professional your business is.

Make it rain: business cards
Always - and I mean always - have business cards on you. You never know where or when you might meet someone who will become your next big client, or the person who can put you in touch with your next big client! Business cards are inherently impressive (especially when expertly branded) and easy to pass along.

Word of mouth
Word of mouth is the oldest marketing technique in the book. It's also the most powerful. Good (or bad) recommendations from clients you've already worked with play a huge role in the future of your business. Treating both old and new clients like gems will get you further ahead as you grow your network and clients spread positive feedback about you to their contacts.

Persistence with potential clients
Pursue potential clients the way you would like to be pursued: with genuine, individualized and consistent communication. Most clients want to know about you and your business before taking the leap of faith and purchasing from you. Can you blame them? The best thing you can do is make it as comfortable as possible for them to take that leap.

Share your passion
Allowing prospective clients to see you geek out over what you love shows them that you're passionate about what you do. In many cases, this also means you're good at what you do. Prospective clients admire that you care about your work the way they care about theirs.

Consistency with branding makes your company stand out. Consistency with existing clients lets them know they're still receiving the great service and products that initially drew them to your company. Consistency with new clients lays a strong foundation for future business.

Ultimately, leveraging the great work you've already done with existing clients to bring in new customers is the best way to grow your base.