The Fastest Way To Grow Your Business’s Income

June 23, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Do you know what the no 1 most valuable asset in your business is?

Most small business owners believe that it’s them. While of course they are vital it’s not the right answer.

The most valuable asset in your business is your database.

Well at least it should be.

If you don’t have an up to date customer database then you are cutting yourself off from your greatest sales opportunity.

Who Should You Have In Your Database?

Your database should be segmented as follows:

· Existing customers

· Lapsed customers

· Prospects

Existing Customers

This segment of the database should list all your current customers, their contact details, what they buy from you, the regularity of purchasing and any other information which could be of use, such as birthdays, anniversaries or other personal information.

Your existing customers provide the best opportunity for you to increase your sales and grow your business.

They have already decided that they know, like and trust you so if you can offer them additional relevant products, they are very likely to buy from you.

This is where cross selling and upselling come into their own.

The fact is you know the full range of products you sell, but your customers may not.

How often have you heard a customer say “I didn’t know you sold that”. Your job is to inform them about other products which may be of interest to them.

The other key point is that unless you communicate regularly with your customers, they may forget about you and buy from a different supplier.

Lapsed Customers

This will be a list of customers who used to do business with you. Again you should have all their contact details, what products they used to buy from you, the dates you did business together and if you know the reason, why they no longer buy from you.

If in this section there are customers who are no longer trading, these should be removed.

Initially your sole objective is to get them back as a customer.

You should offer them the best special deal you possibly can on the products you know that they buy. Don’t worry about the margin on the first transaction. Just start trading with them again and rebuild the relationship. Profit will come on subsequent transactions.


These are the people you have had contact with, may have provided quotations for but never actually done business with.

But the fact is you know they fit your targeting criteria.

They buy whatever it is that you sell.

The information you need on these people is of course all their contact details, what products they were interested in and the date that you had contact with them.

Again you should make them the best special offer you possibly can on the products they expressed interest in before because this will massively increase your chances of winning them as a customer. Once you’ve developed the relationship you will be able to start making your full margin.

Identifying Cross Selling Opportunities

A technique I use with my clients to identify products to cross sell to existing customers is to list all their products along the horizontal axis of a spreadsheet and their customers down the vertical axis. You now put a cross against those products they currently buy and using your knowledge of their needs you put a tick against those products which would be relevant to them.

Don’t be tempted to put your tick against the products you want to sell them. Make sure you only identify products that you genuinely believe are relevant to them and will solve a problem for them. In this way you will make loads of sales and enhance your reputation as an expert and trusted supplier.

So now you know how important your database is and how to exploit it, what’s stopping you from utilising it to the full and making lots of money for your business?

Mike Jennings runs Business Development Advisors – a marketing consultancy based near Guildford in England. BDA does companies’ marketing for them in order to grow the business and win new customers. Please find more information at

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