By Keith Abraham

The Challenge

As business owners or sales managers, we’re faced with high demands for business growth, whilst facing the challenge of being more and more time poor. In our busy daily activities, we are spending less and less time dealing with the people who count most in our business—our customers. Then when we do deal with our customers, they tend to be the wrong ones, rather than the customers who have the greatest potential for growth within our business. Remember the old ‘squeaky wheel gets the grease’ analogy?

So how do you grow your business organically? Take the time you have and capitalise on your existing customer base. I see so many businesses with so much potential, but they can’t capitalise on it because they are too busy, being busy.

10 x 10 x 10 FORMULA

Business Growth

The Concept

Regardless of your business, there are three key groups to focus your energy and efforts for real bottom line business growth, they are:

  1. A Customers.
  2. Customers with Potential: B or C Customers who have the potential to become A Customers.
  3. Prospects to Target: who have the potential to be an A Customer in the next 6-12 months.

Within these three groups, select Top 10 Existing Customers—who if you worked with and focused your attention on—would have the greatest impact on your business growth or selling career. In other words, if you are time poor when it comes to building your business, work with the customers who count. You may not have time to work with hundreds of customers, but you can work with 30.

Let’s look at why these three groups are critical to your success. So often I see businesses take their A Customers for granted and neglect them as they go about their day to day business. A Customers are hard to replace so look after them! Now for the second group, Top 10 Customers with Potential, do you have a group of B or C customers who think you can provide only one service to them, rather than a number of products?

The final group is about thinking strategically for your business. Take the time to list down the profile of the perfect customer. Then identify the Top 10 Prospects to Target who fit that profile. Most likely they are very similar to your current A Customers.

The Capitalisation

Once you have identified these 30 customers or prospects, take these actions for a better business growth.

  1. Over the next 30 days, contact each one of these people to evaluate what opportunities exist to do more business with you over the next 30, 60 and 90 days.
  2. The reason why your existing customers don’t do business with you is often as simple as giving your customers an update of your products or services. Remember your customers forget what you do or pigeon hole your business into just one product or service.
  3. Take the time to review their future plans and goals for the remainder of the year. This way you can identify how best you can add value to them with your expertise.
  4. Think outside the box and find a relevant article or book, or provide an updated fact sheet to send to your customers or prospects as a way of staying top of mind.
  5. Invite these key people to a new product launch or customer function. Let your best customers sing your praise to a prospect.
  6. Load your customers and prospects telephone numbers into your phone and from time to make a ‘how’s things call’ to them.
  7. Every week think about and plan your approach to your best 30 prospects. Ask yourself, ‘Why would this person want to do more business with me and my business?’
  8. With your key prospects, identify from your existing customer base who knows your 10 best prospects and would be happy to refer you onto them or set up a personal introduction.
  9. At your next team meeting have each sales person discuss what action steps they are taking to cement stronger relationships with your A Customers and convert your prospects to becoming customers in the future.
  10. Once a quarter have your whole team review these three groups again to identify new opportunities and to talk about unique ways to connect with the three groups.

When you apply the 10 x 10 x 10 Formula to your business, it will grow! You will experience business growth, because you are concentrating your efforts on the right areas.

With the demands of today’s business knocking on our physical and digital door, we need to approach our work smarter, spend time on activities that will return the best result and work with customers who value our expertise, products and service.

More: Great leaders have these 15 rituals.