for After the Sale
chasing after a particular
client like a man possessed. You’ve spent the past six months
in meetings, making
phone calls, writing proposals, coordinating a proof concept
and doing everything in your power to make a sale. The client, after
a great deal of effort on your part, finally chose
your proposal. The contract was sent over, negotiated
and signed. After six months of hard work, the sale is closed. Now
that you can expect your commission check, you can shove aside all
your effort and move on to the next company. Right? Wrong!?
In order to
be successful in sales,
you need to build and maintain long-term
relationships with your clients. The first sale is only the
beginning. What you do after the first sale will enable you to
build a lucrative relationship that, with a little bit of effort
on your part, will lead to follow
on sales and new opportunities.
As you’ve sure
heard, there is an 80/20 rule that says that 80% of a sales professional’s
business comes from 20% of a customer
base. In order to get the most out of those 20%, you need to
build and maintain the relationship. Just like a grapevine needs
to be tended to continue producing grapes year after year, so must
a client account be maintained to be productive.
First and foremost,
you should stay in touch with your account. This is particularly
the case immediately after a sale. If a customer just purchased
two truckloads of product from your manufacturing facility, call
them after the product was delivered. Were they satisfied
with the quality of the product? How was delivery? Were
there any issues? Did they have any specific feedback for you?
Show them that you care about their business. Let them know you
plan on being there for them and can always be relied upon to help
them up to date on new products or services. Recently, a professional
services company had decided to roll out a new server consolidation
consulting offering in conjunction with a large computer hardware
vendor. They contacted
their customer base to find out if they were had an interest
in the financial advantages of
a server consolidation. Let your customer be the first to know about
new offerings or products that can be of benefit to them. Don’t
flood them with what you know they don’t need. Make it a targeted
approach to be effective.
be afraid to call and say hello. At the end of the day, when the
phone is quiet and your customer is catching up on some paperwork,
a courtesy call
can go a long way… so can lunch or an invitation to some event like
a basketball game.
your customers. When it makes financial
sense for your company, find out how you can give them a little
extra something to thank them for their business. Often, companies
can provide add-ons that are very inexpensive but can be perceived
of high value to a client. Don’t give away the farm, though.
individual attention. Keep
your best customers happy to maintain that long-term relationship.