Cross-selling – Why Existing Customers Are Just As Important As New Customers

When sales fall, most businesses instinctively decide that the best course of action is to go after new customers.


While logically it’s a sensible call to make, the reality is there are three options available to counteract the fall:

  • Increase the amount of customers i.e. get more customers,

  • Increase the frequency of purchases of your existing customers, and/or

  • Increase the average spend per purchase from your existing customers

However, research shows that it is eight times more expensive to try and get more customers than it is to get more sales from existing customers.

Look at it this way. It’s easier to sell a football shirt to a fan, than it is to someone who doesn’t care about football or, even worse, supports your rivals. You should be selling to your fans who, in this particular analogy, are your existing customers.

If you look at your existing customer base, as well as your current list of products and services, you will be able to identify opportunities to cross-sell to existing customers, as well as attracting new business. You can do this by creating a simple table, with existing and new customers/clients’ needs down the left hand side, and your products and services across the top.

This helps give you a visual representation of what and where you will be able to cross-sell. Simply tick off what you provide to each customer, and at a glance this table will show you where the opportunities to cross-sell or upsell new or existing services to your existing client base are.

In our experience this is often a quick win for clients to grow the business before going out into the market and looking for new customers or the extra resources that can entail.

You may wish to try it for your business.

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The Social Reboot

web-design-serviceAs a marketing expert, I spend my days (and some nights) working to improve the customer engagement, branding, and overall image of my clients.

This is a never-ending job as business and marketing is always evolving due to constant developments in technology, methods, and practices, and I need to do my best to keep up for the sake of my clients.

As a result, the last company I come to address the marketing issues for, is usually my own, and I never really get to practice what I preach with Red Flame Marketing.

However, that’s all about to change as, over the coming months, I’m going to overhaul my online marketing, explaining the reasons for my changes as I go, and turn all of my social media channels into pages that I’m proud to have representing my company.

Most importantly, I’m going to demonstrate how you can apply the same techniques to your business, as well as tips on lead generation, blogs and content, and social media etiquette, as we gradually explore the world of modern marketing.

So, consider this the starting pistol, and make sure you are following Red Flame Marketing on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, so you can see the full transformation and the effect it has, as well as exclusive content for users on each page.

Finally, make sure you check back here, as there will be more content on the dos and don’ts of modern marketing and monthly updates on this social media reboot. Meeting regularly to talk about marketing is a good practice to get into, so let’s make this our regular meeting place, as good marketing requires time, effort, and a certain amount of dedication to get right.

Get Our Latest, Free Marketing Tips Here.

10 ways to transform the marketing of your business in 30 days

10 ways to transform the marketing of your business in 30 days

  1. Embrace social media – it’s here to stay and those businesses, even small and medium-sized businesses, that choose to ignore social media will be left behind in the near future

    1. Set up a Facebook Page (not profile)

    2. Set up a Google+ Page

    3. Set up a company Twitter account

    4. Set up a LinkedIn Company Profile

    5. Start to use all of the above

  2. Explore video marketing – the number of videos watched on YouTube and other video channels such as Vimeo will blow your mind. The benefits of video marketing are massive: more traffic to your website, higher profile and awareness of your business, greater credibility and authority, and the biggest, free way to expose your business to your existing and potential customers there is, bar none!

  3. Image is all: get your branding, corporate literature, sales literature, exhibition materials  and website reviewed – professionally – and re-designed to be congruent with who you are as a company and how you want to position your company in the minds of your existing customers and potential customers

  4. Get your website optimised to increase the number of visitors to it, increase the probability that people will engage with your business, and eventually become customers

  5. Get a mobile friendly website – more people now search the internet via their mobile phone or tablet than a PC or laptop! Research shows that consumers are more likely to buy from a business with a mobile friendly website than one that only has a main website

  6. Get a marketing plan – a list of marketing activity that can be undertaken month-by-month for 12 months. You will be amazed at how quickly you will reach the goals for your business with a marketing plan!

  7. Review your existing customer database: can you cross sell other products or services to them? It’s much cheaper to sell to your existing customers than try to find new customers. Can you upsell them i.e. to encourage them to purchase either more products, or products on a more frequent basis, or products of a greater total value?

  1. Review your value proposition i.e. what value do you offer your customers? List all the benefits of your products, services and your business offers customers and how these differ from your competitors. Put these benefits in your sales and corporate literature, on your website and in your social media profiles. Make sure your sales team knows these benefits by heart!

  2. If you don’t sell via the internet, you should. Virtually all businesses can benefit massively from a ‘shop on the internet’. Initially, some businesses start via eBay or Gumtree but eventually need their own e-commerce website.

  3. Commit to investing time and some resources into regular marketing activity – preferably from a marketing plan. Generally, it’s quicker, easier and far more affordable to outsource your marketing than employ someone in-house, at least initially. You will be surprised how quickly regular, focused marketing brings results.

Get Our Latest, Free Marketing Tips Here.

12 good reasons to use social media


  1. It’s free to set up and use!
  2. It can add to your existing communication channels to your prospects, customers and suppliers (in fact all stakeholders) and complement these channels
  3. It helps you engage with your stakeholders and keep them informed about your business, products, services, and achievements, quickly and very cost-effectively
  4. You can find new customers, clients, suppliers and prospects on social media – without the usual associated costs
  5. You can use social media to raise awareness amongst your target audiences of your business, its products, services and development
  6. You can showcase your expertise or build your expertise via social media
  7. You can take advantage of ‘viral marketing’
  8. You can create ‘ambassadors’ for your business which can help improve your brand, profile, credibility and profits
  9. Social media is constantly evolving, so there are more and more opportunities to use it to benefit your business
  10. You can use it to find employees – and minimise the chance of hiring the wrong employees!
  11. Like having a website, it is now expected that businesses have a social media presence. It ‘authenticates’ a business and makes it more acceptable to other potential customers, prospects, suppliers or even strategic partners.
  12. Those businesses that ignore social media will lose out!

Still think social media’s not for your business? Think again.

Do you still think that social media is for telling people what you’re having for lunch?

Do you think it’s just frivolous nonsense? Yes, much of it is.

But more and more small and medium-sized businesses and owner managed businesses are finally waking up to the potential value to their marketing and bottom line of using social media for business.

Watch this short video about using social media for business.

If you are suspicious or doubtful about the value of using social media for business you shouldn’t be when you have watched this short video.

After watching it, if you decide you want to learn more about using social media for your business, we would be happy to discuss this with you in more depth.

We have set up and pro-actively managed a number of clients’ social media for them – so they can get on with running their business but at the same time still getting valuable exposure and promotion for their business.

For some businesses, promotion through social media now forms the core of their entire marketing efforts.

Enjoy the video.


Get a plan in place BEFORE the crisis happens

5 PR lessons from the Kony PR campaign

The link above is well worth a read for any organisation – public or private sector, large or small.

This is some good advice to help any organisation deal with possible negative PR or a backlash to any pro-active PR it is trying to undertake.


The lesson is to have a crisis communications plan in place AS well as a pro-active communications plan or in fact as part of your PR campaign.

It’s rare, however, in my experience, that companies, particularly SMEs, have both a marketing or PR campaign and a crisis communications plan.

Most don’t usually have either.

The ramifications, however, of damage to a company’s reputation can be dramatic – from turning customers away to putting off future employees, and even discouraging investors.

It can often lead to the beginning of the end for the company.

A crisis communications plan helps people to respond more calmly in what can be a highly stressful time.

It can also help people to respond more clearly and avoid them ‘losing their heads’ in a crisis and saying or doing something to exacerbate the situation.

A good crisis communications plan should also clearly delegate the likely roles to different people in an organisation.

For example, who is going to approve statements to the press?

Who is going to draft them?

Does the organisation have the mobile telephone or home telephone numbers of key personnel likely to be involved in a response to a crisis?

Can you easily set up space within your office to respond to a crisis?

Likewise, other questions like ‘what happens if the MD is sat on a beach 3,000 miles away when the factory blows up?’ need to be answered following lots of scenario planning.

Who is second in command or next best placed to front the organisation?

As part of the decision to whom a task is delegated consideration should be given to any appropriate training needs.

We could all see that Tony Hayward was not the right man to front BP in media interviews following the Gulf of Mexico leak in 2010.

For example, does the CEO or MD need some media training to handle radio or television interviews?

If the latter is lacking in confidence or does not naturally present well it may be worthwhile identifying other senior members of the organisation to front any broadcast media interviews.

There’s a lot more to developing a good crisis communications plan but it should form the bulk of any disaster recovery plan that all organisations should take the time to put in place.

Kony 2012

Kony 2012

Here is an amazing example of the power of film, social media and viral marketing combined.

78 million people have viewed this film on YouTube!

It’s a wonderful example, too, of people power.

The power of people to get Governments to act on grounds of justice and decency – and for the causes they really believe in.

I hope it brings the desired outcome.

Watch it, enjoy it, and be inspired by it.

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