It’s much easier to get an existing customer to buy more than it is to get a new customer.

If you’ve got customers that you don’t normally produce as much volume, or you just have a long sales cycle, land and expand is a strategy you need. 

What is land and expand? 

Land and expand is really very simple. Close the initial deal, then you expand the amount of sales you get from them.

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Keep your selling process extremely simple.

Make it easy for your customer to say yes. This means you might keep it small enough so they don’t have to go out to bid, or to the procurement department. Keeping it small means it’s easily within their budget and prevents them from comparing you with everybody else. 

The idea is to land the customer as rapidly as possible, because then you can prove yourself as a person who can help them. 

Next, offer additional services.

Once you prove yourself and your ability to help them, then you begin to expand by upselling them. 

The advantage to this is very simple. Many times we try to sell everything, but by doing so, we confuse them. Overwhelmed by options, they may choose to make no decision.

Read this blog about how to defeat your #1 competition: no decision!

Think about the last time you had to get a new phone, or a new laptop computer. Oftentimes we can get overwhelmed with the choices or features and may choose to make no decision, or stick with what we’ve always used. 

Your real competition is ‘No Decision.’

Land and expand is built around this whole premise that customers are more likely to not make a decision. Our number one competitor is not necessarily somebody else. Our number one competitor is the customer just not making a decision. And that’s exactly what ‘land and expand’ is designed to prevent. The customer doesn’t have to overthink it.

Look at all your existing customers.

The beauty of this is that I can put ‘land and expand’ into all of my existing customers. 

I want you to look at all of your existing customers and ask yourself, “how do I expand my business with them? How do I expand the number of services?”

I do this on a routine basis. I’ll go back to customers that I haven’t worked with in a couple of years. I’ve stayed in touch with them, but I’m going back and it’s amazing how much additional business I can get from them. 

It reinforces you as a solution provider to them, and customers are appreciative of it. 

Don’t make a new customer a confused customer.

This strategy works especially well with new customers. 

It is so easy for us as salespeople to get caught up in what we sell. We want to sell everything. It winds up confusing the customer—and a confused customer doesn’t buy anything. 

Speed sells.

I’ve got to put it out to bid. You’ve got to talk to procurement. I need to get other people involved. It’s not in the budget.” All these things slow down the process. And right now in today’s economy, something we’ve learned: speed sells. 

Failing to close the deal fast works against you. Look at what you sell; I want you to ask yourself, “how long does it take a typical customer to go through the buying process?” If you adopt land and expand, you’ll be able to cut that in half.

It’s true, this could cut down the average size of your deal. Would you rather have customers thinking about buying from you or actually buying from you? 


How many deals have you closed in the last year that have resulted in additional business?


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Copyright 2023, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.

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