5 Proven ways to generate new leads from existing clients

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Struggling with new leads?

You need not look much further than your very own existing client list!

You read that right.

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Your existing client list can be a gold mine, if you approach it with a new perspective and focused strategy.

Traditional tactics like cold calling and emails will only go so far; it’s up to you to leverage your existing contacts in unique ways that get you the response you’re looking for.

Here’s a few proven ways to generate new leads from existing clients.

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Offer referral rewards

A popular way to gain new leads, specifically from sales, is by offering incentives and rewards for referrals.

For example, each of your customers that makes a purchase receives a follow up email, which explains that they will receive future discounts for each person they refer.

This encourages your customers to reach out to their social circles for word-of-mouth advertising.

I mean, who doesn’t like discounts, right?

Plus, your clients know who may be in the market for your product or service, so they can help to target the leads more effectively.

Launch a peer-to-peer campaign

Peer-to-peer campaigns leverage social media to spread the word, empowering your clients to draw leads in an organic way.

These are by far the most popular for charitable fundraising endeavors, but you may find that you can apply the idea to other types of lead generation as well.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this approach is more effective if you have a large social media following and factors such as the quality of the content you post are crucial to increase its potential to go ‘viral.’

Ask for testimonials

Platforms like Yelp are excellent spaces to direct your client testimonials to.

Many consumers around the world use platforms like Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp to read reliable reviews.

And the more you’re on places like these, the more likely you are to generate new leads.

Some companies take these testimonials a step further by responding to both positive and negative reviews. So even if you do have some negative reviews, prospective leads will appreciate that you took the time to address them in a positive way.

Encourage your clients to write a review for your company if they haven’t done so already. You can borrow a helpful strategy from Amazon by sending an email after an order was received, which links them to the designated review site.

Host an offline event

Events have the power to bring in new leads while further engaging your client list.

You can use your client list to generate a list of potential invitees who live in the area and would be most likely to attend.

Encourage those clients to bring guests and you may find your prospective leads grow. Further, if the event garners media attention and also has an online element, the exposure could potentially create even more new leads.

Seek feedback from your existing client base

Your clients can provide invaluable feedback and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it.

One way to gain insight into the wants and/or needs of prospective leads is to ask those who are former leads themselves—your clients.

Ask questions pertaining to what made them go from prospect to client, what parts of your approach they liked or did not like, and what they want to see from you in the future.

If you’re concerned that this kind of survey won’t yield many responses, consider offering an incentive.

Bonus tip

Before you begin strategizing your lead generation plan, there are some basic infrastructural elements that you need to have in place first.

A reliable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is crucial, as it will store your entire client and lead contact information, along with other personalized metrics.

A business-friendly email solution, like MailChimp, is also necessary in order to reach out to your clients en-masse.

Once you’ve got systems that work for you, you’re ready to start bringing in new leads! Good luck!

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About Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith is an experienced writer and tutor working at Career FAQs. She’s keen on new motivational tools and productivity hacks. She’s also interested in the new media.

Leave a Comment



  1. Cameron says:

    Great read, Kelly! Also, just a heads up that trying to buy the From Passion to Profit ebook gives me an error–a JavaScript popup appears and just say’s “product doesn’t exist”. I was looking forward to grabbing this book for the weekend and wasn’t sure who to alert.

  2. Thank you for the post. Out of curiosity what CRM do you recommend? Thank you and have a great day!

  3. Great article Kelly! I especially love the idea of hosting an offline event. In episode 72 of my Resourceful Designer podcast I covered how to get new work from existing clients but I really like your take on generating new leads from them to win new clients.

  4. Hey Kelly, great article! It’s not easy getting new leads. I’ve tried the referral rewards method. In my case I gave my clients 5% of the project for a successful referral. This seemed to work well.

  5. All great ideas, Kelly. I was curious what the “average” commission would be. I see 5%, 10%… or perhaps offering a flat-fee would be more easily understandable to potential referrers.. thoughts?


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