BD tips and insights

By Alistair Marshall

How to get more work from existing clients

June 1, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

When trying to develop new business in professional services, always go to your existing clients first. Why? Because they already have a relationship with you and they believe in your service. Many firms mistakenly overlook existing clients when they try to source new work.

The return on investment from targeting your existing clients who know and trust you is far higher than from marketing to new clients. It’s easier to sell your services when you know what your client buys, why they buy it, and how your expertise meets their needs.

Think about which of your existing clients have additional work they could give you. Do your top clients use the full range of your service offerings? What budget do they have for these areas?

If your understanding of your why your clients may or may not be buying more from you is not as good as it could be, work through the simple exercise below to take stock, update your client knowledge and add insight into your interactions.


Get a better understanding of your clients

Take one client – Client X – and work through the questions listed below:

  • What is their purpose? Their reason for being?
  • What do they make/sell/do?
  • How do they make/source their money?
  • What are their major costs?
  • Consider their business, industry, and sector:
    • overarching trends
    • their power as a supplier and as a consumer
    • their competitors
    • role of government/regulators.
  • What are their plans, and how do they see their future?
  • What changes are occurring – or expected – in their firm, sector or industry?
  • Where does the service you provide fit into their world?

How significant is what we do for Client X?

  • From their perspective, what is it that we do?
  • What does it achieve for them?
  • Where else can they source services similar to ours?
  • Why do they buy services from us, rather than our competitors?

What else can we do for them?

  • What exactly?
  • What will it achieve?
  • Are they doing it already?
  • Do they not yet do it? Why?

To sell more services to Client X, know what they buy, why they buy it, and how what you do fits into their universe.

Once you’ve done the analysis and armed yourself with insight, you can present a stronger business case to Client X that targets their issues and needs and, hopefully, rewards you with more work. Then repeat it for Client Y, Client Z, and others.

Click here or the button below to download a copy of our easy-to-use How to get more work from existing clients template.


For practical help, coaching and advice on how to sell more of your expert services, please get in touch.

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