Digging deep and drilling down to uncover mutual interests and potential business opportunities is the very essence of effective networking.

These same skills are also the key components in maximizing your existing business relationships.

The fastest new business opportunities can be recognized within your existing account base, however it requires discipline, expert probing techniques and the ability to peel back the layers and uncover areas of mutual need and potential gain.

Think about it:

Are all of your customers aware of ALL of the products and services that you can provide to them?

Do you have ALL of their business or are they giving business to your competition?

Put together your plan of action:

1. Make certain that you inform your customers about ALL of your products and services. If you already did that and more than three months have elapsed, then it is time to remind them again. It might be your primary objective but your customers have other things on their mind.
2. Do you continually probe your customers? Are there other decision-makers or influencers? Other locations, divisions, departments and subsidiaries? Do they have plans for relocation, growth or downsizing? Are there any significant business changes being planned? There are always questions to ask, data to confirm and information to be gathered. Try to learn something new on each and every contact.
3. Ask your customers what you need to do to earn more of their business. It’s a direct question and you should receive a direct response.
4. Occasionally take the time to work your customer base from the bottom up. Everyone knows all there is to know about their top accounts, but there are accounts languishing on the bottom of your database simply because you have not taken the time to learn about ALL of their needs or present ALL of your services. Can they be buying most of what they need from your competition and just using you as a secondary source.
5. If you think about it, your customer should be your sales force. Iuf

Your best prospects are your existing customers. Just like in networking, you need to approach them appropriately, share willingly and be patient.

Business development is a process, not a quick transaction.

Author's Bio: 

For over 20 years, Adrian Miller has been a strategic ally to companies requiring results-driven, sales-level performance training and executive-level business development consulting. As the president of Adrian Miller Sales Training (http://www.adrianmiller.com) , she is a highly recognized sales training expert who offers real-world solutions to real-world situations for clients that range from promising startups to Fortune 500 global enterprises.

Adrian takes a customized approach with each and every client and works directly with sales teams and management to help them understand advantages, opportunities, challenges, and problems. She invests quality time and effort and produces targeted solutions that result in measurable results.

Passionate about helping companies win new business, she delivers her innovative programs in an unforgettable and energetic style that motivates sales teams to achieve new heights of success. With a broad and deep knowledge base, she has successfully worked with clients within the financial services, publishing, manufacturing, accounting, biotechnology, legal, healthcare, and technology industries.

In March 2009 Adrian launched Adrian’s Network (http://www.adriansnetwork.com) , a virtual business networking community that is winning raving fans from participants in most every industry and profession.

Adrian is also a sought-after speaker and the author of The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success. She is also a frequent contributor to many industry blogs, major business publications, and trade journals.