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Getting New Business from Old Business

by Michelle Krebsbach

Or, How to Upsell A Client
One of the easiest ways to get new business is to get it from an existing client, but it's something that is often the most overlooked. There are several ways to get additional business from existing clients:

Prepare the Plan of Attack.
So you have a great client, and you have finished the projects at hand. Now what? After a little time has passed, put together a business growth plan for your client and present it to them. Show the client that you have been thinking about helping them grow their business and that you have actually done some research and have some great solutions to offer. They might not be ready to implement at that time, but they will value you for going the extra mile and you are guaranteed to get more work in the future.

The additional Proposal.
If a client calls and asks for you to estimate on a particular project, instead of just estimating what they have asked for, also estimate some other elements that might compliment this piece or are necessary elements to enhance this particular piece. If a client has an entire budget in front of them at once AND has additional ideas that go with their initial idea, they are more likely to buy off on all elements at once, then if you came back later to suggest it. Doing this shows initiative, creativity and a strategic thinking on your part for your customers overall business.

Turnkey will get you more.
Most clients pigeon hole their vendors and assume that they can only do certain things or part of the job. This is especially true if you have been hired in the past for a specific project or task. You are automatically "niched" regardless of your full capabilities. To get around this, once you are asked to estimate or complete a project, take the extra step to suggest that you finish out the project or continue past what you were hired to do. For example, if you are hired for the design of a project, suggest that you turnkey the printing. If you are hired to design a website, suggest that not only do you do the programming for the site, but the marketing for the site as well (if capabilities allow). This gives you complete control over the entire project as well as more money in your pocket.

Ask for referrals.
If a client likes your work, they will and should recommend you to others. Ask your clients if they have strategic alliances or business colleagues that could use your help. People like to help other people and you are sure to get referred if you just ask.

Taking a little initiative and thinking about your existing clients' business will probably prove to be a worthy cause. Clients like doing business with people they trust and people they already know. Most clients simply don't realize the full potential of every resource they do business with, and it's usually the fault of the source, not the client. Show your clients your capabilities, be pro-active in their business, and watch your business grow.

Published with permission from:

TexasDesign.com is a resource for graphic designers, art directors, illustrators, photographers, printers, and others involved in the business of graphic design. The site was originally launched in 1998 as a "portal" and was a finalist in the SXSW web design competition. Since then, the web site has gone through many transformations, but has always served the design community.

Michelle Krebsbach is the president and founder of MKreative Group. MKreative Group is a full service branding and marketing agency located in Dallas, TX.