If I had a penny for every-time the word low hanging fruit is used when planning a new business strategy with a client, I’d have at least £3.28. With this bounty, I would buy myself a pineapple to stick it somewhere uncomfortable the next time low hanging fruit is used in a meeting.
You see, apart from an intense personal dislike of the phrase (deep breath, count to 3…) the low hanging fruit is all around you. Not those unlucky souls yet to meet you but your existing contacts and clients.
80% of all the new revenue you will bring in, will come from existing clients and their recommendations and referrals. These recommendations and referrals will create new ones and so on.
There’s an exercise that is well worth attempting. Trace back your current clients to the source of the lead. Most agencies can create a sort of family tree of clients, leading back to a few champions or sources. Then, calculate the amount of money generated by them.
It’s convenient to think that this will happen automatically and partly it will. Be nice. Do a great job and it will happen, but you can also be proactive to ensure it happens and happens more frequently. Here are a few pointers:
1) Everyone in your agency is new business person, from the MD to the receptionist. News, point of view and successes you work hard to achieve for your clients should be shouted from the roof tops and all your staff’s social media profiles. Each staff member should be actively building their networks with clients and sharing positive information. Twenty staff with 150 connections each, gives you a reach of 3,000 people. Be attentive to your in-house database – everyone should be adding to it and a monthly round up of all the great things you have done in the last 4 – 6 weeks should be included in it.
2) Ask for referrals. Selling feels difficult and a bit cheesy for those not hardened to it or naturally inclined to it. But simply asking “is there anyone you know, who might be able to use our services that you would recommend us too?” does work. If you don’t ask you really are leaving it to chance.
3) Assuming you have followed the above two pointers, or are new business dynamo’s (congratulations) move on to level three – 1st and 2nd degree connections. Your client’s social connections will tell you who they know and you don’t. An introduction based on who you have in common is a great way to break the ice.
Now, go back to your initial calculations and double them – follow these pointers and that number or more could be a reality.
If you need help with a plan, training or implementation of a referral generation program get in touch today – we’d love to help and promise we won’t bring a pineapple along.