Guide

Increase your market share

Sell more to existing customers

It's often easier and more effective to sell more to existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. Once you understand why your existing customers buy from you, you can examine ways of getting them to buy more or more frequently.

Golden rule

The Pareto principle - often referred to as the 80/20 rule - says that 80 per cent of your success in any given field is often due to 20 per cent of your effort.

You can use the idea as a starting point to analyse how you can sell more to existing customers. For example, if a small number of your products and services account for most of your profit, can you sell more of the less profitable products to your customers? Or if your higher-margin products or services are only being sold to a small percentage of your customers, how can you raise that percentage?

Encourage more frequent buying

You can increase market share by getting customers to buy more frequently.

If your research shows customers buy at a particular time, make contact with them just beforehand. For example, if you know that a business buys its stock from you at the end of each month, a courtesy call in the middle of the month can be effective.

You can also add value to your products and services to ensure repeat business. Consider if there is anything you can add to a service at little cost that is useful to your customers. For example, a free overall 'tune up' every time they send their car or computer in for repair?

See retain and grow your customer base.

Get customers to spend more

Where appropriate, encourage customers to buy a premium product or service that better meets their needs and provides a superior return for you. This is known as 'selling up'.

You could also offer purchase incentives and price promotions on items that they usually buy from competitors, such as 'buy one get one free'.

It's also useful to focus on selling complementary products. For example, hairdressing outlets sell hair care products for customers to use at home. See understand your customers' needs.