“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” –Steve Jobs
I’m massively concerned!
What’s happening with tenured sales reps?
I’m not here to show disrespect nor point fingers. This comes from conversations, messages, and even observations from the teams I work with.
Where’s the spark? Where’s the drive? The same drive you had when you first started your career?
Many of you must, and I mean must, step away from babysitting a portfolio of business as you walk around like your sh$t doesn’t stink.
Yes, my sales friends, babysitting. It hurts, but let the truth be told. What would happen if you lost one of your largest accounts?
When’s the last time you’ve grown within your client base? Are your clients helping you to grow your business? What do they crave from you?
Keep reading to learn why you MUST ask these questions on a regular basis, and 3 brain-dead simple things you can do to make sure you don’t lose your largest accounts… so you can build on the success you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Get To The Heart Of What Matters
Client relationship: It doesn’t end when you get the deal.
Think about it…
Do you really understand what your largest clients want? Do you understand their deepest desires? Are you delivering what they want? Do you even know what that is?
Can you 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…
- “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.”
… from salespeople who aren’t prioritizing customer relationship. It’s a cold dose of reality when a competitor walks away with one of their 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.
Let’s get real for a moment: Your competitors are calling on your largest clients. They’re staying engaged. And your clients are ripe for the picking if you simply fail to:
- Take care of them
- Listen to them
- Love them
- Learn from them
- Even grow with them
All of these little things begin to 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.
3 Things Sales Pros Do To Build Client Relationship
The goal here is to avoid losing your largest accounts. But it starts with client relationship.
Even more than bringing in new clients, it’s massively important to keep your clients happy with you and your company (especially your largest clients). However, keeping them happy depends on knowing what they want, what they crave, and what they care about.
A true professional always does 3 things to take care of their clients:
- Look for potential roadblocks and landmines within their largest accounts
- Crave feedback (consistently) from their clients
- Leverage feedback to identify key areas for improvement
“Forget the Wheaties, oatmeal, or the All American Grand Slam, Selling-From-the-Heart Champions eat feedback for breakfast.”
Let’s take a closer look at what that means.
1. Crave Feedback
Consummate sales professionals run their own business. They do their best to appease their clients, satisfy their needs, and keep them loyal to their brand.
If you fail to continually find out what your clients actually think about you and your service, you’ll never be able to give them the best experience they deserve. It’s their opinions about the experience they have with you that’s helpful information to use to adjust your support to fit their needs more accurately.
How do you know if what you’re doing is working? How do you know if your largest clients are happy with their experiences or with your company? What do they like and dislike? How are you keeping up with what’s going on inside their company?
Sales Professionals dig in and ask…
- What can I do differently?
- What can I do to improve or enhance my service to you?
- What can I do to help you do better business?
I’m asking you to rock the boat on this one because a comfortable mindset with these clients is a terrible thing to waste.
Think of all the competitors circling your largest clients just waiting for the right moment to reel them into their establishments of paradise.
What have you done lately for your clients to help them grow their business?
2. Simply Care
Sales is serving, and serving is sales. To serve is to care. It’s caring deeply about your clients, the people who buy what you have to sell.
Here’s a secret: I encourage you to capture the hearts and minds of your top clients.
It’s about “giving a rip” and truly caring about helping to solve their business challenges, meet their goals, and resolve their concerns. Showing you care isn’t about being “mushy and gushy.” It’s about being human, being real, and being your authentic self — every step of the way.
“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Your largest clients are asking so much more of you than they ever have before. I bet they’re holding you to a higher degree of accountability. If you fail to nourish and continually bring value, I flat guarantee somebody else will eagerly step right in.
Deeply invest and authentically care about the experiences you provide to your largest accounts. Then watch what happens to your client relationship.
3. Connect With Meaning
How many of you are truly connecting with your largest clients? You must make them feel like you really care — which means you need to stop looking at them through dollar-sign glasses.
When was the last time you shared with one of your clients how you really felt?
We as human beings want to be heard. We want to know we matter. And we just want to be loved (or even just liked). The same can be said for your largest clients: Heartfelt conversations lead to a human connection.
Be present and be in the moment. Your largest clients should be made to feel like they’re the only thing that matters.
Connect with meaning by digging in and asking heartfelt questions.
- What do you truly expect and desire from me?
- What do you value?
- What matters to you the most?
- What can I do to better serve you?
Client Relationships: an Investment in Your Success
Integrating feedback, caring, and connectivity are jet fuel for building meaningful client relationships with your largest clients.
If you hunger to achieve true sales excellence, it can’t just be about you. It has to be bigger than you. You must be driven by a personal mission to make your largest clients’ business world better.
- You must intensely care.
- You must have compassion.
- You must connect with meaning.
I get it, but we need to stop the excuses. I’m here to tell you that you can do better. It’s up to you and you only.
Your success in sales is not just about closing more deals, where you sit on the sales totem pole, or the size of your last commission check. It’s about how well you use feedback, how much you care and how well you connect with your largest clients.
It’s about client relationship.
Think of the following relationship equation with each and every one of your clients.
Engage + Excite/Conversation x Caring = Meaningful Relationship
To all my fellow sales professionals and leaders… Meaningful and credible relationships do matter!