You already know the importance of retaining your current clients. It’s much more cost-effective to keep your existing customers than try to find new ones. But did you also know your current clients could be a path to new customers? According to Colleen Francis, president of Engage Selling Solutions, the fastest way to grow your business is to leverage your current client base.

Francis says that your clients can transform into advocates for your company—it just takes some strategic planning. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Francis’ guidance for leveraging your current client base to get new customers.

Ask for internal referrals. You’re already working with a company—make the most of it. Ask your client if they can refer you to a colleague or executive in another department. Francis recommends creating an organizational chart for your existing clients. Map out the departments or divisions you’d like to work with and ask to meet people in those groups.

Request external referrals. One of the best ways to do this is to call your client and say, “Hey Michelle. I’m talking to Samantha at ABC Company. Can I tell her we work together?” Francis says you can also ask your clients directly for introductions. Say something like, “I’d like to meet Ryan Jones. Can you help me with an introduction?”

Obtain client testimonials. This is another powerful way your current clients can help you land new ones. Client testimonials, whether they’re in written or video format, increase potential buyers’ trust in you, which can increase your odds of winning them as clients.

Share case studies. These stories allow you to show how you have helped one of your current clients. Prospects see what you can do and how you may be able to help them, too. Make sure your case studies outline a problem, solution and result, says Francis.

Host a live event. Another way you can leverage your current clients to get new ones is by bringing them together. Consider hosting a client conference or other live event that can help you create a sense of community, recommends Francis. These events create tight networks that can help you grow your client base, she adds.

Nominate your clients for an award. This is an easy way to make your clients feel valued and respected. Look for local business awards like “best women-owned business” or “fastest-growing business.” If your buyer gets recognized, they may invite you to the award event and promote you to their connections. These new people could turn into new buyers.

Your clients find value from working with you. If they didn’t, they’d move on to a different company. Knowing this, think about how you can transform them from clients to ambassadors for your business. There are many ways you can use your existing customers to reach new prospective buyers, from requesting referrals to getting testimonials. Try different tactics and make the most of every client relationship.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Colleen Francis is the founder and president of Engage Selling Solutions. She is also a keynote speaker and thought leader.