The Wall Street Journal reported a new trend in Gyms that offer healthy prepared food where they work out.

While I think that it is a great idea to eat healthy, that wasn’t the point of the article to me since I write about business development most of the time.

The key for me was to see that an industry that has basically been centered on exercise has seen another business vertical they could add to their stores to sell to the customers they have already spent money on to get in the door. Now that they are in, the cost of that person to buy something else is dramatically down.

In this case, gyms are answering the classic business development question, “what can I add to my existing business that will bring in more income but cost less because I don’t have to spend more to get in a new customer but just service the one I have in a different way that compliments what I am doing and helps the customer.”

In this case, they were spot on because many fitness industry people believe that what you eat is more important than how much exercise you do.  The new service added to the old service also helps the customer because without the food available he would probably have gone to the closest fast food joint after his workout just to save time but add back calories he was trying to burn off at the Gym.

At the National Association of Experts, Writers and Speakers, Summit this year we had as one of our lead speakers and guest, Jay Abraham. Jay is a classic business development guy I have followed for over 35 years and this approach to any business is one of the keys to his consulting business. His consulting approach is always to probe a clients existing business to determine what they were doing and what they were missing that could be bolted on to the existing business.  The result is for the business to make more money without the cost of marketing to get  a new customer.  Jay doesn’t even charge a fee for his service but just takes a percentage of the improvement to the bottom line. Genius.

So very frankly, the question for you today is,  “what other product or service can you offer your clients that they want or need and you get sales from, without having to spend the cost of marketing to get a new customer to come in through your doors. You already have the client, …what else do they want?  And once you know, just give it to them.

I read today about a local chiropractor here in Orlando that decided to reverse the injury referral business from attorneys getting clients and referring them to chiropractors to find out the injury problem to the Chiropractor getting the clients and then working out a fee arrangement to attorneys that met legal requirements in each state.  So here was another business in the technology world that the Chiropractor just bolted on to his existing business and candidly when it comes time to sell his business, the technology referral service will be more valuable than the chiropractors regular practice.

So let me challenge you today. What else do your existing clients want from you? What do they need in addition to the service you are already selling them?

How do you find out? Ask them. Sometimes you do it through a survey of your customers, and sometimes the very best way is to just personally ask. “What else can I do to help you be more profitable and enjoy working with us?”

Good question uh?