Here’s a tip on prospecting with your existing customers

While we’re still on the topic of prospecting, keep in mind that your existing customers are a terrific source for additional business. They have already “voted” for you by giving you their patronage, and they’re also far more willing to take your phone calls, provided you script them professionally.

But I hear a lot of these calls in workshops and they are not very well-organized, beginning with the dreaded “Good morning, this is Phil Adams from the such and such company.  How are you today?”

I’ve covered this horrible approach in a previous post, so I won’t go on about it here, except to say that it is very bad practice to ask the customer how he is, or if you caught him at a bad time, or if he has a minute, before you tell him why you are calling.

 Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.  You’re at home and you get a call from your bank, insurance agent or broker.  The caller greets you just as above.  Tell me, what are you thinking when you hear that? I can promise you that you are not thinking of having a discussion about your general welfare.  Instead, you’re wondering “who is this guy and what does he want?”  In fact, that’s what we do when anyone calls us.  We want to know what they want.

What this means to you, if you are truly customer-centric, is that you should script your call to address the issue that’s on the customer’s mind. If he wants to know what you want, for heaven’s sake tell him, “Briefly, the reason for my call today is to ensure your satisfaction as our customer, and if I may, I’d like to ask you just three quick questions about your recent service experience with us.”

Notice the subtle use of the word “briefly” right at the start, and then later “just three quick questions.”  The idea here is to keep the customer on the phone, so promise you will be quick, then do so.  Don’t launch into any product pitches whatsoever.

Once the customer agrees, ask question number one:  “In general, how have we been treating you?”  The customer will say “Just fine,” which you expect, or he will have a complaint, which is good news as you can rescue a potential attrition problem.  You would ask for more information and fix the problem.  You win when that happens.

If the customer says “Just fine,” you say, “I’m glad to hear it.  Tell me, if I asked you to rate us on a scale of one to ten, what score would you give us?”  And now you are in total control.  Any score less than ten, and you ask, “I’m glad to hear that.  Seven is a good score.  Can you share with me what we could be doing better for you to earn a ten?”

And when the customer tells you, for example, “Your rates, fees or premiums could be better,” you can inquire about their specific concerns, and you’re off to a great conversation, more than likely leading to an appointment to discuss the entire relationship and another sale.

In summary, the idea here is that when you call with a product pitch the odds are very much against you, but if you call and express sincere interest in the customer, you can almost always discover a need.  You just have to… 

Think Like Your Customer!

About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at

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