The Entrepreneur’s Nightmare: Where is the next sale coming from?

The worst feeling in business is where you don’t know where the next sale is coming from. I know, I’ve felt it. Nowadays the panic sets in from time to time, but usually it is irrational.

But I remember what it is like when it was real and I had every right to be panicked – from days selling roof restorations. Lying awake staring at ceiling. Panic creeping in from the darkest recesses of your sub conscious. Wondering what would happen if I got sick and couldn’t work for a week. You feel like you’ve got nobody to turn to. You know tomorrow you’ve got to put it all aside, go and knock on doors and beg for work until you’ve gotten your 3 appointments booked…

I don’t know which is worse, knowing that if you want to stay in the game, you need to be out there knocking on doors. Or actual knocking on doors, hour after hour, wondering which one would be the one that finally relented and gave me that last appointment so I could go home.

Back then I operated in a very limited way. You knocked on doors, sold a roof restoration, then knocked on some more doors. Rinse and Repeat until death – I couldn’t see a way to get rich doing this.

Most of us live some form of this nightmare at some point. And breaking the cycle should be a priority for every entrepreneur. Lead generation systems are one of the ways to do it. But there is a better one.

What I didn’t know then that I understand better now is that existing customers are also a source of sales. If you set your business up correctly then you’ve got a second avenue to generate your next sale.

It is far easier to get an existing customer to buy something from you than to get a new customer to make a first purchase with you. You can thank Bain and Company for that factoid. It is vital to understand that distinction because if you are wondering where your next sale is coming from I can guarantee you that most people think in terms of new customers and that sales from existing customers are ignored.

What opportunities can you think of to get your next sale from an existing customer? I’ve come up with a short list of ideas from my existing customers.