Leveraging Existing Relationships to Jump Start Sales

In the latest issue of The Daly News, Jack Daly offers some excellent suggestions on what companies and sales reps can do to protect revenues and business pipelines during the economic downturn.

Jack notes, and I don’t disagree, that although the economy is definitely soft and there are legitimate crises within certain market sectors, a great deal of the doomsday predictions are most likely little more than hype in advance of the Presidential elections.

Whether that’s true or not, companies do need to protect their bottom lines while we wait to see who our next President will be and what that will mean for the economy. And that means sales reps need to get creative about keeping their prospect pipelines full.

To that end, Jack notes that while sales reps do need to continue cultivating new accounts and relationships, selling “wide and deep” into existing clients is key to an immediate infusion of business.

To sell “deep,” identify new opportunities with existing client companies, such as with other offices or locations that you’re not currently selling into, and leverage internal referrals to open those doors. To sell “wide,” find opportunities to encourage existing customers to buy other products or services you’re offering and act on those to leverage existing solid relationships.

Jack also recommends that companies consider implementing a series of overlapping contests to amp up the energy throughout the organization. He notes that, in most cases, contests pay for themselves through additional sales and inject creativity and fun into the process.

There is no question that these are all great ideas for jump-starting the sales process. But I’m willing to bet that A Players have been doing this all along, a least in terms of leveraging existing relationships.

Maximizing sales through existing customer channels has proven itself time and again to be the key to long-term sales success.