How To Sell To Existing Customers (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are many benefits to retaining your customers and trying to to sell to them. Your business's existing customers are an extremely valuable resource to marketing because they are easier to sell to and can help generate new leads. Knowing how to leverage this portion of your target audience can increase revenue, expand your business and establish your company brand. In this article, we discuss the importance of making sales to existing customers, steps to help encourage repeat business and tips on how to sell to your current customers.

Why are existing customer sales important?

Sales from existing customers are as important as making sales and gaining new customers. Businesses can leverage their existing customers to refer new clients, improve company brand and provide feedback on how to better serve the customers. Existing customers are also a valuable source to make more sales. If a person has purchased from a business and the customer service and product are satisfying, then this customer is often likely to buy again from the business.

Benefits of selling to existing customers

Selling to existing customers offers the following benefits to a business:

Low-cost marketing

When you sell to existing customers, your business can save money on marketing. You don't spend money on creating ads or convincing a client to become a customer when they already are familiar with your brand and products. Instead, your business can engage in a few interactions or make a special offer to an existing customer that is of little or no cost to your business.

An existing customer, provided they have a pleasant experience with your business, may talk about your brand online, which can offer your business free advertising. Existing customers also save a businesses' advertising dollars by referring your brand to their friends or family.

Read more: How To Ask for a Referral To Grow Your Business

Save time

Your business can save time selling to existing customers because the marketing team doesn't need to take time to research the market or identify and find a target audience. For existing customers, you already know who they are and their general demographic information, such as age, economic status and gender. This can help determine what your existing customers may buy next or what offers your business could make to them to encourage another purchase.

Focusing on bringing an existing customer to purchase again may take less time and effort than locating a new potential customer and leading them to the point of purchase. Existing customers know your brand, so you do not need to inform them, and they have made a purchase from your business so you won't spend time convincing them to buy a product.

Promote company brand

A business can use existing customers to help promote and grow their brand, which can lead to increasing revenue. Many people are likely to trust an opinion of a friend or family member more than an advertisement. You can leverage existing customers to help promote your brand in these 3 ways:

  • Use customer reviews. Customer reviews and testimonials can be valuable in your marketing campaign to help persuade potential customers. When customers have positive feedback about your service and product, sharing what they have to say can improve your company brand.

  • Create referral campaign. Companies sometimes create referral programs to reward existing customers for finding another customer to invite to your business. Referrals are great for attracting new customers, and referral rewards can help keep existing customers.

  • Use customer generated content. Re-posting content that a customer creates about your product online, such as a picture or video featuring your product, saves time and money creating new content and also serves as a testimonial which can persuade other users. Interacting with customers in this way can improve their opinion and experience with your company brand.

Read more: 10 Types of Social Media To Promote Your Brand

Steps for selling to existing customers

Selling to existing customers and maintaining their business transactions with your company is similar to a new client's buying journey. You can follow these four steps to sell to an existing customer:

1. Design campaign

Keeping existing customers interested in your business is important. Create a marketing campaign specifically for customers who have made a purchase from your brand before. Set goals for your campaign to ensure that you are maintaining the customer relationship and actively encouraging repeat business. Your campaign could also target customers at risks of leaving your business, such as customers who emailed a complaint. Your business can target at risk existing customers by doing the following:

  • Track customer buying habits. Keep track of orders and other interactions a customer has with your company. If their interest declines, you need your campaign to be equipped with tools to entice the customer again.

  • Outperform competitors. Watch your competition closely as well. Try to improve your offers to outperform products the competition offers to customers. This can increase retention rates.

  • Develop customer loyalty. Loyalty programs help to keep customers' business and can help improve your company brand. A loyalty program may include special offers and discounts that encourage customers to make another purchase.

2. Maintain contact

Maintaining contact with customers is an important part of offering great customer service. Ensure the customer knows your business cares even after they have made a purchase. Here are ideas for how to maintain contact with customers:

  • Follow up. Send an email to follow up with your customers about their experience with your product. Offer assistance for questions or concerns they may have.

  • Request a review. Show that you are interested in a customer's opinion and experience by requesting that they review your product or service.

  • Interact online. Social media platforms are a helpful tool in tracking customer experiences. When a customer posts about your product or company you can re-post, comment or share their feedback with other social media users and potential clients.

  • Create exclusive offers. Exclusive offers that a customer can access after making a purchase, such as bonus products or discounts, are a good way to thank your customers for their business and remain in contact with them after the initial purchase.

Read more: How To Develop and Maintain Positive Client Relationships

3. Create additional offers

Creating additional offers helps up-sell and continue to attract customers to your services. Consider these options when crafting offers for customers:

  • Bundles: Offer products that complement one another in a bundle deal where if customers purchase one product, your business offers the second at a discounted price.

  • Discounts:: Create discounts for returning customers. Discounts can be a percentage off of the regular price of a certain product or service.

  • Lifestyle discounts: Lifestyle discounts are special offers for students, military personnel and public service workers like police officers. These discounts can attract customers to return when they qualify.

  • Loyalty cards: Many businesses use loyalty cards to encourage repeat business. Loyalty cards allow customers to get special offers and earn points for shopping at your business that they can redeem to purchase another product or service.

  • Buy one, get one: Buy one product and get another for free or at a discounted price are special offers that encourage a customer to buy more products. This is also a useful method to up-sell to customers.

  • Free shipping: Offering free shipping of your products saves a customer money and increases their interest in making a purchase.

  • Gift vouchers: Sending a gift voucher for customers to redeem and receive a gift from your business or a related business after making a purchase can increase their satisfaction and bring them back for another purchase.

  • Satisfaction guarantee: When you can offer a guarantee that a customer enjoys your product or service, a customer may feel more confident in making a purchase. It is a risk-free trial and shows that your business believes in what you are selling.

Read more: 15 Customer Appreciation Gifts To Express Gratitude

4. Provide consistent value

Providing consistent value to customers is beneficial for retaining customers, keeping customers satisfied and maintaining your brand reputation. Consistent value helps build a brand that customers trust and are happy to buy from a second time. Here are ways to consistently provide value to your customers:

  • Train customer service representatives. Train all your customer service representatives to ensure consistency in how they treat and handle your customers. This training could also involve informing representatives of your products and brand so that they can assist customers in any problems they encounter.

  • Solve customer issues creatively. Customers appreciate quick and creative problem solving. This may mean creating a personalized solution for each customer or each situation.

  • Respond quickly. Responding promptly to all customer concerns provides value and satisfaction to a customer. Consider a live chat on your website to offer assistance or a help-line that customers can reach.

  • Deliver on promises. Keeping your promises made to customers about your product or service is an excellent way to provide value after a purchase. For example, your company may make a commitment to satisfy all customers. If a customer feels dissatisfied with a product, you offer their money back.

  • Be personable. Interacting with customers individually and making your communication with them personal makes them feel appreciated. Ensuring that communication sounds less business-like and more human is helpful.

  • Create consumer products. When creating new products, consider customer feedback. Your consumers are the most important factor when making new products. Be sure what you offer is useful to them and provides value in their lives.

Tips on how to sell to existing customers

It's important to remember how valuable your existing customers are to making a profit and establishing your company brand. Retaining customers and providing consistent value to them is helpful to create a successful business. Here are additional tips to help sell to existing customers:

Create customer accounts

Create customer accounts that categorize and separate customers based on factors such as consumer habits and demographic. With customer accounts, you can create ways to better attend to your customer needs. For example, creating accounts for the customers most likely to repeat business helps your marketing team strategize to encourage those customers to buy again and create exclusive offers for them. Similarly, customer accounts also help identify those at risk customers who may need special attention in order to retain them.

Be attentive

Be attentive to your existing customers. This includes watching the competition to be sure your offers are still valuable to customers, communicating with existing customers and requesting feedback that you use. To be more attentive to your customers, create surveys to gauge their satisfaction.

Read more: Creating Customer Satisfaction Survey and Questions: Best Practices and Examples

Use automated marketing

Automated marketing tools are systems to perform regular marketing activities, such as posting on social media platforms, sending emails and collecting customer information. Using automated marketing tools, and using inputs like customer behavior, helps better communicate with customers and maintain a relationship with all of your customers. An example of automated marketing is chat bots which can quickly provide answers for customers.

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