Your Best Prospects are Your Present Customers.

Your Best Prospects are Your Present Customers.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Looking for new prospects? Who isn’t! You probably have hundreds you’re not paying attention to… your present customers.

Consider these ten assets already in your favor:

  1. They know you.
  2. They like you.
  3. You have established rapport.
  4. Confidence and trust have been built.
  5. You have a history of delivery and satisfaction.
  6. They respect you.
  7. They use (and like) your product or service.
  8. They will return your call.
  9. They will be more receptive to your presentation and product offering.
  10. They have credit and have paid you in the past.

I don’t think you could ask for much more than that. It beats a cold call by 1,000 to 1. You don’t have to wait until a customer is ready to sell them again.

Here are some ideas to get your present customers to buy more now:

Sell them something new People love to buy new things. Your enthusiasm will set the tone. Create excitement about how this new product will be exactly what will serve better, produce more. Sell sizzle, sell appointment.

Sell them an upgrade or an enhancement Bigger, better, faster. Enhancements and upgrades have kept the computer software industry profitable since it’s inception. Up selling has built fortunes. Just ask any fast food business. (The question “Do you want cheese on that?” sells more than one billion pieces of cheese annually.)

Sell them more of the same Look for other uses, other departments, growth or expansion of the customer’s company, or replacement due to wear and tear. You may have to dig a little, but the soil is softer at a present customers place of business than the pile of rocks you usually face at a new prospects company.

Sell them additional products and services Your company probably sells multiple products and offer varied services, but very few of your customers carry your full line. Sometimes a customer will say, “Oh, I didn’t know you sold that.” When I hear a customer say that I want to go to a pawn shop, buy a gun and shoot someone, it’s most likely the trainer of the salesperson.

Get your customer to meet you for lunch If you can get the customer out of the office environment, you can often uncover more opportunities to sell (ask them to bring a referral along).

Get them to give you one referral a month This is the true report card on the job your product or service has done in performing for your customer, as well as a report card on your ability to gain enough buyer confidence that they will refer you to a friend or business associate.

Whether you make a sale or not, continuing to be in front of your customer
builds relationship and goodwill.

If you can’t call on your present customer, or if you come up with some lame excuse like “I’ve sold them everything I can sell them.” What this really means is:

  • You have failed to establish enough rapport with the customer.
  • You have probably not followed up well (or at all) after the sale.
  • Your customer had some problem and you’re reluctant to call and open a can of worms.
  • You’re in need of more training.

and the big one…

  • You have not developed a proper relationship with the customer.

Most sales people think that unless they are calling a customer to sell something that it’s a wasted call. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m constantly amazed at the salespeople who make sales and move to the next prospect. I challenge you to carefully and honestly look at your customer list. I’ll bet there are hundreds of opportunities to sell something.

Personally, I would rather have 100 loyal customers to do business with than a thousand prospects.

Your present customer has a history of buying, has credit terms, likes your product and likes you…
What are you waiting for?

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