“Merely satisfying customers will not be enough to earn their loyalty. Instead, they must experience exceptional service worthy of their repeat business and referral. Understand the factors that drive this customer revolution.”
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a customer is someone who buys goods or services from a store or business. The word client can also mean customer but it has a separate definition as someone who receives professional services.
In a business context, the two terms are often applied differently based on the types of relationships built. Customers are generally people who come to you mainly to buy products or services you supply. Clients buy your advice and solutions personalized to their particular needs.
To grow and prosper, sales organizations must pursue new business which often means taking advantage of competitors’ complacency or mistakes in providing service to their customers.
In an ever-changing competitive landscape, sales leaders are looking for smart answers to an extremely urgent question: How can we protect our customer base from erosion as competition intensifies?
DO YOU HAVE SALES BABYSITTERS?
Are your sales reps growing your competitor’s next great client?
How well can you answer the following…
How do you truly know your sales reps are delivering value?
Are your sales reps providing your accounts what they value more effectively than your competitors?
With the utmost of honesty, sit down and visualize your sales team as you read…
- Sales reps who flip their base year over year, possibly earlier than needed, are nothing more than overpaid babysitters.
- Sales reps who fail to grow their business and the relationships within them are overpaid babysitters.
- Sales reps who fail to prospect, fail to develop new business relationships, fail to enhance sales opportunities and lead by example are nothing more than overpaid babysitters.
What are you doing to help coach your sales team to enhance the client experience? If you find this hard to answer then I submit you are fostering a babysitting culture within your customer base and sales team.
I encourage you to think about this question “What does value add look like to your clients?” I bet they all want to increase their sales and grow their customer base, correct?
STOP TREATING THEM AS CUSTOMERS BUT AS CLIENTS
Do you personally view your customers as customers or do you view them as clients? How many inside your sales team view them as clients but treat them as customers?
How do you know when a customer becomes a client, or the other way around? When a client becomes a customer this becomes a problem.
Are you building customers or are you building clients?
Think about this one for a moment… How are your sales reps viewed? Are they viewed as sales reps of products and services by your customers or do they enlighten, add value, inform, advise, counsel, nurture and become an advocate on behalf of your clients?
Is it your personal preference to be sold or served? When you’re in the marketplace as a consumer do you seek out professionals whom you can trust or sleaze-balls selling you and then moving on?
Your personal commitment should be to coach your sales team to build sustainable relationships with your clients who value their professional advice rather than finding customers who make a one-time purchase.
If you and your company fail to keep your clients as such, they could turn into customers
HUG, STRENGTHEN AND PROTECT YOUR CLIENTS
As we all know, individual contacts within your accounts may change roles, leave the company, or otherwise become unavailable to influence buying decisions. In a recent study by Catalyst, they suggest that as many as 33% of employees changes jobs each year. When the relationship between you, your sales team and your client is strong, the loss of even a key contact is less likely to affect their commitment and ongoing sales.
Question to ask yourself, how many of your sales reps are putting a big huge hug around your client base? What are they doing to ensure your clients continue doing business with your company?
Are your clients being well-served and taken care of? The more your sales reps can lead with a servant led mindset the better off you will be in the long run. The aim is for them to be seen as a trusted adviser.
When you really put your client first and show them you value the relationship, things will work smoother. Be a servant to them. You are there to provide support to them and their business.
When their input is greatly appreciated by your clients, the less likely they will engage with your competition.
“Serving a client goes beyond actually doing what you’ve been hired to do”
PROTECT AND SERVE
Coach your sales team to serve making it extremely difficult to make a switch without incurring significant costs associated with re-training, disruption of their business and other issues.
Coach your team to provide high-quality support and service proportionate with their investment in your offering and the relationship.
Coach your team to keep them well informed about your organization’s technology, business direction and development of new capabilities and products.
Coach your team to initiate discussions focusing on their future needs, upcoming projects or areas of potential growth. Truly encourage your team to get to know your clients and quit treating them as customers.
IN THE END – WIN THE WAR
If you want to your sales team to crush it, I encourage your sales reps to develop a servant sales mindset. Sales reps who help out the most will win the most.
Loyalty with your sales reps is built on trust and authentic communication. Encourage them to be genuine, humbling, honored and helpful; most importantly have them speak from the heart! Your clients will follow, guaranteed!
In a world where sales reps are viewed upon with negativity, an authentic, real-deal approach is a breath of fresh air. It may result in losing a few sales battles here or there, but those sales reps who put their clients first no matter what are all but guaranteed to win the war.
I will leave you all to think about this…
Stop Growing Your Competitors Next Great Client?
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
In 2016, I was recognized by ENX Magazine as, “The Difference Maker,” as someone who is making a difference inside the B2B office technology sector. I am passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more advanced training material inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire Sales Teams to grow new business by helping them tell their story and communicate it out by integrating the use of social media. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast at Selling from the Heart.