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As marketing professionals, we’re constantly on the lookout for new lead generation opportunities and in the B2B environment, existing customers are a great source. Referrals, upgrades and add-on sales have the potential to add quick revenue without the cost or competitive challenges that go along with new customers. To encourage customers to make these recommendations, giving a little something extra to enhance the customer experience is a great way to build credibility and to start your customers talking about how great working with you really is.

Of course, before you can do this, you first need to deliver on your initial agreement and provide an level of service that will make your existing customers want to continue to work with you in the future. Once you’ve done this, understanding the challenges your customers face on a day-to-day basis is critical. Start with anything related to your product or service, and then expand that awareness to other areas. Specifically identify things that aren’t getting done because they lack the time or the resources to do it themselves.

Then, apply your resources to help make their lives easier. It could be something very simple such as sharing productivity tips on how to get the most out of a software product you know they use, or more tangible, such as providing additional functionality or services at no extra cost. Something simple that I’ve done in the past is sending dinner to customers  I knew would be working late on projects such as inventory reconciliation or quarter end close. The key is to enhance your relationship so that your opinions and recommendations are viewed as a valuable source of information and support.

Going the extra mile for your customers in an unexpected and proactive way is a great way to build long-term relationships that will help you achieve a higher level of trust and respect. With that comes the opportunity to not only generate repeat business, but also referrals and recommendations. This is one of the cornerstones by which ResponsePoint has built our business and we continue to strive to exceed our customers’ expectations daily.