Grow Your Key Accounts

Presented by FreeEnterprise.com, Ted Ehling focuses on an often overlooked part of sales: securing your key customers.

It takes 8 to 10 times more expense, energy, effort, and heartache to bring in new customers than to keep and grow existing customers.

In the case of growing existing clients vs. landing new ones, the old 80–20 rule applies—approximately 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your customers. While you may be focused on growing your business and finding new and exciting customers, how can you nurture the customers you have who generate most of your revenues and profits? Many entrepreneurial companies are so focused on finding new converts to their ideas that they miss those key customers who are already using their products or services.

Consider a key account program that helps you actively care for this critical segment of your customer portfolio— the few that you can’t afford to lose. Who would qualify for the program? Ask yourself the question: “How many new, average-size sales would you have to close to make up for losing one of your biggest accounts?”

1. First, select which are truly the key customers. Often they are those who provide the biggest revenue, but there are many other parameters worth considering, such as profit, or ease of doing business, or importance of having this customer in a specific industry.

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