Hey Salespeople... How Would You Feel If You Lost One Of Your Top Accounts?

Dec 20, 2020
"At the end of the day, it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most."
Tony Hsieh

How many of you understand what your top clients want? How many of you understand what they desire?

Are you even relevant in their eyes? Would you even know?

Right now, at this very moment, how many of you can honestly answer these questions?

Gut check time, isn't it?

I would like all of you to think about your top clients, got it? Think about how much they mean to you and your company. Think about all the potential business opportunities, referrals and relationships.

What would it mean to you and your company if you lost your one of your top accounts?

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard these statements, We service the heck out of our customers. They’ll never leave us.”, "They love me, they're not going anywhere." Here is the best one, "I own this account." And then all of a sudden, a cold dose of reality sets in, a competitor walks away with one of your top accounts and no one ever saw it coming.

I'm not here to cast ill-will. I'm asking all of you to think. I know you work hard for your clients. You take them seriously. You provide great service and yet some still leave, why?

Can we all get real for a moment... Your competitors are calling on your largest clients, just like you are calling on theirs. If you simply fail to take care of them, listen to them, love them, learn from them and even grow with them, then don't be surprised as to what happens next.

Follow along with me... a long list of 'little things' start to develop, things begin to silently fester over time, calls and messages aren't returned in a timely fashion like they used to, and then BAM you’ve been replaced with a shiny new sales professional.

If you fail to continually enhance the experience, don't be surprised if your clients look elsewhere for new experiences.

THE MOMENT

There comes a time when this conversation happens: “After careful consideration, we have chosen to buy from someone else.”

The sting, the bite or even the punch in the gut is worse when it's one of your top clients.

If you start making excuses as to why you lost the deal, you’ll never correct the behavior. The sting of the loss will linger much longer than you want it to.
Michael Pedone

You can mope around, cry like a baby, complain, point fingers or even deflect. Do whatever you need to do allow yourself to feel bad. Yes, allow yourself to feel bad. It sucks. The initial wave of stress and anxiety is completely normal and probably inevitable. Let it out and rightfully so.

Whose fault is it? Yes, you heard me, whose fault is it?

I believe it is not how long you choose to dwell over it but, what you choose to do afterwards to recover from it. (I bet now you wished you took prospecting serious).

Worrying a bit can fuel a positive change!

If you treat your clients as a mere transaction, then don't be surprised when they take their business elsewhere.

Losing one of your top clients is horrible. I get it. It's hard not to take it to heart. It happens but what can you do to prevent it from happening?

According to Tom Cates, founder and chief client officer of SalesEquity, a client engagement platform that measures B2B relationships.

"Clients leave for all sorts of reasons," says Cates. "Occasionally it is for a product or service failure, sometimes for a breach of trust or contract. However, we find these situations to be in the minority. When clients leave, it is usually because the provider is not properly managing the relationship."

Let that last sentence sink in for a moment... not properly managing the relationship. Isn't that interesting?

PERCEPTION IS REALITY

When's the last time you've asked some of your top clients what they think of you or how you have helped them do better business? Are you ready to hear the truth? Do you want to hear the truth?

"Your perception may not be my reality"
Aporva Kala

No matter how excellent you think you are, your long-term success depends first and foremost on how good you are in your client's mind.

John Mackey (CEO, Whole Foods) nails it, 

“For us, our most important stakeholder is not our stockholders, it is our customers. We’re in business to serve the needs and desires of our core customer base.”

Are you delivering on your promises?

Are you placing your clients on a pedestal, placing their needs above your very own?

Are you aware of their company concerns or challenges?

A complacent mindset towards your top clients is a death sentence, slow and painful

COLD HARD TRUTH

Do you truly care about your top clients? Do they know how much they mean to you?

Are you taking your top clients, the cream of the crop, for granted?

"If you truly care about your clients, then they’ll care about you!"

I would like all of you to reflect on the following...

If you do very little to educate, engage and enhance your relationships inside your largest accounts then why on earth should they continue to do business with you?

Follow along with me...

I recently was on a coaching call with a top performing sales rep. I had this person write down on a sheet of paper the name of their largest account. Then I had them write down by title only, all the decision makers and influencers within this account. We got to the number 12. Then I asked, put the names of the people whom you know, and they know you next to the title... a startling number of 3. A somber 25%!

Keep in mind, this account is co-shared with a competitor who has similar products and services.

Hey salespeople, you starting to smell what I am cooking? Can you say Uh Oh? I thought so.

Why on earth are you putting yourself in these positions?

How would you feel if they went elsewhere?

MEANINGFUL AND CREDIBLE RELATIONSHIPS

In today's ultra-competitive environment, you must focus on building meaningful and credible relationships with your largest clients.

  • Become genuinely interested in their business.
  • Be on the lookout to help them do better business.
  • Connect with meaning rather than just contacting them to sell them something or waiting for them to contact you.
How many of you understand what really matters to your top accounts?

You all have choices. The choice is yours but don't be surprised if the poop hits the fan. The only person you have to blame is yourself.

Yes, this is cold and, in your face, but I'm asking you to think...

What would happen if you lost one of your top accounts?

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