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Tapping into Your Customer Base
by On November 21, 2008

In Eric Haney’s book, Inside Delta Force, the author relates a story about how the simplest solution is often the best. The Unit had been given a mission to retrieve a valuable object from a hostile country. The plan involved high altitude parachute drops, a nighttime ocean swim, clandestine meetings and lots of risky special operations stuff. But the Delta Force boys put the kibosh on all that. Instead, they opted to buy an airline ticket, fly into the country on a commercial jet, put the item in a diplomatic pouch and carry it home on a return flight. And that’s what they did.

When it comes to a sales career, the problem is finding new business to feed your pipeline. You may choose to invest lots of money and time in expensive advertising, promotional events and networking opportunities. Yet you may be overlooking the simplest and most direct method of filling your pipeline – tapping your own customer base.

These are people who have already done business with you. They know your face and are familiar with how you do business. They are the people who are most likely to do business with you again – IF YOU ASK THEM. That’s the part people overlook. You can’t wait for them to call you.

So if you don’t already have a system for tracking your customers, create one, even if it’s just a notebook or spreadsheet. Ask your colleagues for recommendations for more advanced systems.

No customer base of your own? No problem. Borrow one. In many industries, departing salespeople leave behind fat lists of previous customers. Ask your manager if you can tap into one of these lists.

Here’s the key action that makes this work. Then create a schedule for personally contacting some of these of these people each week by telephone. Offer them something of value each time you call and ask a few simple questions to get a sense of their needs now and in the future. Use a script to get your wording right. The goal of this call is to set an informational appointment that will show you how to meet their need with your product or service.

So stop generating all your business from scratch, Start leveraging the time and money you have already spent. If advertising is like a high altitude parachute drop, then calling your previous customers is like buying a ticket on United. Both may get you there, but it’s the better option is the one with the in-flight movie.

Be Free!

This article was written by David Denis owner of

David is a freelance writer for hire offering article writing, sales letters, training manuals, speech writing, seo content, sales writing, blog articles, copy-writing service, sales scripts and business name ideas.

To learn more, or request a quote visit

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