Sales NumbersDid you know that the most expensive coffee in the world costs about $3000 per kilogram? The coffee is known as Kopi Luwak. Some experts believe that only about 5000 pounds of authentic Kopi Luwak is collected annually.

Besides being extremely rare, the main reason it is so special is that it has a, um…natural production method. Coffee beans first get eaten by a wild jungle cat, known as a civet.

The civet processes it as it passes through said kitty’s intestinal tract. Afterwards it is collected, washed and dried, crushed, and finally roasted and then sold.

And people actually buy it. On purpose.

Now, what in the world does this have to do with increasing your sales numbers?

For one, it shows that opportunities arise from the strangest places, often in ways that we don’t anticipate. (To say the least.)

After all, someone had to wander through the jungle, poke through, well— you know, and then make it into coffee. And someone else had to market it.

And that is where we come to the real point of this post, your sales numbers.

Are you overlooking sales opportunities that you could possibly capitalize on because they are not obvious?

How to Boost Your Sales Using Relationships You Already Have

Look for Opportunities to Cross Sell and Expand

The first place you should be looking for future sales opportunities is by looking back. Who has bought from you in the past? Is there a way that you can leverage that relationship into something new?

A word of advice: you have to be careful here. First and foremost, this only works if your client is already happy with your service. They also have to have a legitimate need that your service or product can meet.

You can’t just hit them up again and again to fatten your wallet. You must present a genuine solution to a pressing problem in their world.

Remove Obstacles

Have you ever had to wait on hold for an eternity to pay a bill or get help? How did that make you feel? By the time they picked up, were you less than pleased?

Some companies never consider how many steps their customer has to fight through, just to give them their business or money.

Additionally, according to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, customers are often overwhelmed with too much information and or interaction. Think about it this way, customers face a veritable tsunami of information each day. Sometimes they just want things simplified. Make it easy for people to buy from you.

Nuff said.

Be Intuitive About their Needs

You should be living in your customers head so much they just about charge you rent. You need to grasp what makes them tick, why they need and how they buy. Then leverage that information in a meaningful way so that you make their lives easier.

Forget life hacks. Be the hack.

For instance, if they need a shipping label, include it. And, if you get 3000 (or 30, for that matter) emails about a problem, don’t send your customers to a FAQ’s page. Instead, send them a helpful, brief email explaining exactly what they need to do. When possible, do it for them.

Use the Power of Reciprocity

At its core, reciprocity means that people like to be good to those that are good to them. For example, I like to go to a particular spot for donuts on Saturday mornings. One morning, I happened to have found a ten dollar bill in the parking lot.

Being in an especially good mood, I thought I would share my good fortune and dropped it into the tip jar. The owner of the donut show saw it and smiled. Ever since, she makes it a point to add a donut, or two, to my order. Not only does she add a donut, she personally hands it to me and beams at me when she does it.

That is reciprocity. I did something and she reciprocated and made me feel special. In the end, we all felt good (and I will never go anywhere else for donuts).

Why not add a hand written card, a free eBook or something else that will actually benefit your customer for free?

The Bottom Line, Here is a Big one- Yours

Keeping customers that you already have is more profitable than going after new ones. No one is suggesting that that you do not reach out to new markets. But keep in mind that an existing relationship costs less to maintain and grow than a new and untried one.

At the end of the day you have to rely on your wits and your people if you want to survive, much less thrive in a changing market. We can help you there. We recruit the best of the best. If you need to build, train or retain your sales team, give me a call.


Jamie started ProActivate 12 years ago after serving as VP of Sales at CareerBuilder for 5 years and prior to that serving in leadership positions within the traditional staffing industry for 10 years. In both of those models, she noticed a gap in the marketplace for sales leaders to proactively protect their revenue as it relates to sales talent. At ProActivate, she works with leaders of sales organizations in numerous ways such as to be prepared if a top performer were to leave or promote tomorrow, to replace C players with A players, to propel growth into new markets or launch new products, or for some it is to do more with less.