“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
How well do you really understand what your largest clients want? Do you understand what they really desire? Are you even relevant in their eyes? Do you even know?
How many of you can honestly answer these questions?
Gut check time, isn’t it?
I would like for you to think about your largest client, got it? Think about how much they mean to you and your company.
What would it mean to you and your company if you lost your largest client?
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.” “I own this account.” “They love me, they’re not going anywhere.” All of a sudden a cold dose of reality sets in, a competitor walks away with one of your largest accounts and no one ever saw it coming.
I’m not here to throw ill-will on you or your company. I’m asking 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?
Let’s get real for a moment… Your competitors are calling on your largest clients. They’re ripe for the picking if you simply fail to take care of them, listen to them, love them, learn from them and even grow with them.
All of a sudden and it does happen, a long list of ‘little things’ develop, things begin to silently fester over time and before you know it, you’ve been replaced with a shiny new sales professional.
If you fail to continually enhance the client experience, don’t be surprised if they look elsewhere for new experiences
THE DREADED MOMENT
There comes a time in every sales rep’s career when this conversation happens: “After careful consideration, we have chosen to buy from someone else.”
This stings even more when it’s one of your largest 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.”
Mope. Cry. Complain. Point Fingers. Deflect. Do whatever you need to do allow yourself to feel bad! Yes, feel bad. It sucks! The initial wave of stress and anxiety is completely normal and probably inevitable. Let it happen and rightfully so.
Question becomes… Whose fault is it?
What I believe matters is how long you choose to dwell over it and more importantly, what you choose to do afterwards to recover (I bet now you wished you took prospecting serious).
Worrying a bit can fuel a positive change!
Losing a large client sucks. I get it. It’s hard not to take it to heart. It happens but what can you do to prevent it from happening?
“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.”
PERCEPTION IS REALITY
When’s the last time you’ve asked one of your largest clients what they think of you? Are you ready to hear the truth? Or a better question would be, “Do you want to hear the truth?”
“Your perception may not be my reality.”
No matter how excellent you think you are, your success depends first and foremost upon how good you are in your clients 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 to your largest clients?
Are you placing your largest clients on a pedestal, placing their needs above your very own?
A complacent mindset towards your largest clients is a death sentence, slow and painful
COLD HARD TRUTH
Do you really truly care about your largest clients? Do they know how much they mean to you?
Are you taking your largest clients for granted?
“If you truly care about your clients, then they’ll care about you!”
I would like for 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?
If you do very little to help your largest clients do better business then why on earth should they continue to do business with you?
How would you feel if they went elsewhere?
When is the last time you looked your largest clients in the eyes, shook their hand and said, “I sincerely thank you for allowing me to serve you. You and your company mean a lot to me. I’m here to always help.”
In today’s environment that’s becoming increasingly competitive, 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.
You all have choices. The choice is yours but don’t be surprised if shit happens. 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 your largest client?
Meaningful and credible relationships do matter! Discover the power of relational selling at Selling From the Heart. Be on the lookout for upcoming webinars, training workshops and coaching programs around how to prevent all of this from happening.