Look to the Past for Future SalesAs a general rule, it’s best to focus on the present while keeping an eye toward the future. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should completely ignore the past. Because not only does the past hold a plethora of lessons—both personal and business—it can also hold opportunities for sales now and in the future. Here are three past sources of future business.

1. Past Clients
Your past customers already know you and (hopefully) like you, so the hardest work is already done. How else can you serve them? Do you have new products or services they could use? Have they developed new needs, challenges or goals? Do they have other divisions or locations that could use what you sell? And do they know other prospects they can refer you to?

2. Past Prospects
Just because a previous prospect didn’t buy from you then, doesn’t mean they won’t buy from you ever. What was the reason they didn’t buy? Has their situation changed? Did they choose a different company, and if so, did they have a good experience? Might they be looking for a new vendor?

3. Past Relationships
It’s easier than ever to lose contact with people we used to know and interact with. Fortunately, it’s also easier than ever to reconnect with people we’ve lost touch with. Reach out via social media or perhaps an old-fashioned phone call or e-mail. Don’t ask about sales opportunities during your initial contact—focus on them. Rebuild the relationship first, then you can ask for introductions or referrals.

You obviously don’t want to dwell on the past, but you should poke around in it every once in a while to see what gems you might be able to mine from it. One little nugget from the past could turn into a huge sale in the future.

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