"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
One enormous challenge for many in sales is the juggling of new business growth while trying to retain their current customers.
Choosing where to spend your energy and how to divvy up your time can be challenging.
Successful sales professionals understand the importance of maintaining outstanding customer relationships.
Why have salespeople become lazy when it comes to maintaining their customer relationships?
WHAT DRIVES LAZINESS WITH SALESPEOPLE?
Taking things for granted is an awful mistake we all make. A huge and unfortunate strategic error many in sales make is taking their customers for granted.
The biggest problem with taking our customers for granted is that they will find someone who won't. Never ever ever take a single customer for granted, especially in a world where there is so much choice.
Even satisfied customers require consistent attention and care
Once we grow accustomed to something we take it for granted.
How many in sales learn this the hard way? Once they go elsewhere, they then soon realize their value.
Are you forgetting about the little things, the simple things when it comes to your customers?
Customer retention, loyalty and the service experience you provide are the foundation to your sales survival
Don't take your customers for granted or you will struggle to grow your sales!
From "I Can't Live Without You", To Vendor
Your customers may feel the same way about what you provide them. They were enamored with you in the beginning and what you did for them, however; as the months and years passed you became commonplace.
They adapted to you. They forgot what life was like before you entered their business. Now, they take you for granted and your empty suit ways. You’re no longer that wonder. You’re now a vendor.
Hey salespeople... how do customers treat vendors?
They beat you with the price hammer. They whip you for concessions. They whip you for "freebies" and you let them.
Stop, think and then ask yourself the following...
- Why did they decide to do business with you in the first place?
- What was life like before they met you?
"There is absolutely nothing that can be taken for granted in this world."
Robert Anton Wilson
The Telltale Signs
How can you protect your customer base from erosion? Quite simple -Stop taking your customers for granted. Your current customer base has never more vulnerable than it is now.
I encourage you to flip this on its head, attack your competition and their complacent, taking for granted mindset; to drive enormous sales opportunities, conversations and growth.
In order to achieve success, let's remove the obstacles preventing you from achieving sales growth.
ASSUMING YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THE VALUE YOU BRING
Reflect on this for a moment...
- How do you really know you are delivering value?
- Are you really giving them what they really value more effectively than your competitors?
Are you sure?
In this competitive sales landscape, you cannot assume any longer. Just because they continue to do business with you year over year doesn't mean anything any longer. All this means is they don't know any better than what they know.
When is the last time asked your customer's "What value do I, our services and our products create for you?" I am waiting for your answer, still waiting, still waiting; this is what I thought - it has been a while.
Can we agree that your customers want to increase their sales and grow their customer base?
Grab a sheet of paper, ask yourself these two questions and then write down your responses to:
- How do I help my customer's gain a competitive advantage?
- What is my customer's perception of value in working with me?
To understand the meaning of value, you must first put yourself in your customer's shoes and see the world through their eyes.
ASSUMING YOUR CUSTOMERS REALLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Creating true, authentic and genuine relationships by spending informal time with your customers will help you to understand them and their businesses.
What’s important to them and their business; the return will far outweigh the investment.
How well do you really know your customers and how well do they know you?
With all sincerity, when you get to know your customers inside and out, you can personalize the attention you give them.
I am believer that true leadership in sales is the ability to affect change and influence people inside your current accounts.
The more you can lead with a servant's heart the better off you will be in the long run. The aim is to be seen as a trusted adviser. When your input is greatly appreciated by your customers, it’s less likely they will engage with your competition.
"Assumptions are the termites of relationships"
TREATING CUSTOMERS AS CUSTOMERS AND NOT CLIENTS
Throughout this entire article I have referred to customers as customers. How many have caught onto this?
Do you view your customers as customers, or do you view them as clients? How many 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?
Customers buy things and clients seek advice! You can't go to Walmart and have a Nordstrom's experience.
Ponder this one for a moment the contrast between clients and customers - Ask yourself whether you desire to be paid for what you do for your clients or what you hand them, your products or services?
REFRAME YOUR MINDSET
Ditch the customer centric mindset and adhere to a client centric mindset.
You will attract and retain relationships, command premium prices, develop brand loyalty (YOU), create loyal client relationships thus generating more revenue over the life cycle of a relationship.
“Always remember that everyone with whom you have a relationship has an invisible sign on their forehead that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Treat them accordingly.”
Eric Philip Cowell
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 heartfelt 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! It's about understanding value before visibility.
Selling From the Heart is making a difference! I poured my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it. You can find it on Amazon in paperback, kindle and in audio. You can click on the book image below and this will take you to Amazon.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by getting valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on 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 share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.