Your best customer is the one you already have
Whether we’re talking present sales or future prospects, the customer you have is your best bet for economic growth. So regardless of what else you do to build sales, never stop thinking about ways to keep that existing customer satisfied.
It really boils down to those basics we all know but too often forget in the pace of business:
- Know your customer
- Listen to what their goals are
- Stop selling and start solving their problems
- Service, service, service
Nowhere in that list is lowest price. You already have their trust and confidence. Go build on it by putting the customer first.
When the customer wins, you win
Follow these simple tips to help you help your customers.
- Start by learning and cataloging everything you can about a customer’s business. The more you know, the easier it will be to find new ways to be helpful. And the more helpful you are, the more the customer will think of you first.
- Listen for feedback. Really listen. When you don’t hear it, ask for it.
- Communicate on a personal level, supplying real information instead of a sales pitch. Put the emphasis on the customer as a knowledgeable buyer, and not on yourself as the seller.
- Increase the value of what you sell by showing how it satisfies the customer’s customer.
- Above all, remember that service is the name of the game when it comes to retaining customers over the long-term.
Do You Have A Customer Engagement Strategy?
To create great experiences for customers, you must know what you want customers to feel, think and do at every stage of the relationship.
That’s the value of having a strong Customer Engagement strategy. It’s a process that can shift your efforts to being more proactive and more rewarding for your customer.
Hopefully, you already have a customer engagement strategy but if not, take a look at the Channel Instincts post: Is It a Fire Drill Every Time Your Customer Calls?
Photo credit: Sloan Review
Selling a lot of material is no longer just what you want your sales force to do.
Demands and expectations of customers are growing. You must satisfy their needs.
Information technology is giving you more date, in more user-friendly. The result is you need to more finely direct your sales force with the insights you now have.
Getting the sales force to do what you want them to do!
You have to decide what you want your sales force to do − that directly comes from your strategic plan or sales strategy. Therefore, you must develop a strategic plan and then create expectations for your sales force to support that plan.
Develop a list of the three to ten most important things you want the sales force to do − sales should be one of them, gross profits should be another.
Make sure your list can be easily, fairly, and accurately measured. One measurement could be calling on new prospects, which measures activity.
The 4 critical steps of sales leadership again are:
- Develop a strategic plan.
- Create a set of 3 – 10 most important sales behaviors.
- Fine tune them until they are easily, fairly, and accurately measurable.
- Measure and reward the behavior you want. Toasting measurable results or regions and/or sales people will get everyone’s attention.
Don’t expect great results if you only deploy and hope
Create a high performance sales team by holding accountability, goal setting, strategy developing, resource identifying, and quarterly or monthly conferences with each of your sales people.
At these conferences, do the following:
- Hold them accountable for what they said they were going to do
- Help them set goals
- Help them create a strategy
- Ask − how can I help
Follow these steps and your team will not only have better direction, they’ll better understand how critical their role is in delivering the results that the company needs and they signed up for.