More revenue… More sales… Exceeding quota… These are all statements that sales professionals think about and focus on. However, many sales professionals associate hitting these targets with finding new customers rather than cultivating, nourishing and enhancing existing relationships. This week’s Sales Performance Blog will focus on growing business through existing relationships by implementing proven best practices that will help you achieve your desired targets.
Uncover additional needs through active listening
Actively listening to your customers not only allows you to get a better grasp of their situation, but also determines what else you could do to facilitate their growth and fulfill their expectations. Dig deeper by asking open-ended questions. Oftentimes, companies do not know exactly what their needs are or struggle to properly articulate their concerns. Even if they are aware of the fact that something is amiss, they may not have the knowledge or the tools to correct their deficiencies. Help your customers identify the problem and develop customized solutions. Explain to them how the additional products or services you provide will make a difference and put them on the right track.
Find ways to keep in touch and stay top-of-mind with customers
Your customers regularly receive phone calls, business proposals and sales brochures from a variety of businesses that are eager to capture their attention, including your competition. Therefore, you should find ways to stay on their radar and maintain top-of-mind awareness for your brand. Keep them informed of your progress, educate them about new offerings and let them know what is transpiring within your corporation.
If you come across an interesting article, an op-ed or a press release that is pertinent to their line of business, send them an email and encourage them to check out the link. In addition, distribute a well-written and informative newsletter, allowing you to share news stories and industry insights and position yourself as a thought leader. Remember, building credibility is a life-long process. With all the choices that exist in the market, your customers may walk away as soon as they spot a better alternative or encounter a smarter, more efficient and more reliable service provider. To avoid this scenario, maintain regular contact with your prospects, show genuine interest in their situation and do everything it takes to help them achieve their goals.
Build trusting relationships with ALL the major influencers in the organization
When you develop a solid and mutually-beneficial relationship with a buyer, don’t stop there. Start “diving” deeper into the organization and try to approach peers, colleagues and executives who may also be interested in having a chat with you. Avoid being too blatant, aggressive or obtrusive which may deter your customer from introducing you to others. Explain to the buyer why scheduling a meeting with his/her co-workers is important and how the whole team could benefit from your suggestions, insights and offerings.
Provide superior customer service
Providing excellent customer care is a huge part of the relationship building process. Show each buyer your appreciation by offering holiday specials, occasional discounts, free industry reports and other perks and benefits that will help you ensure their long-term satisfaction, strengthen your relationship and even lead to business referrals.
Sales Managers Tip – Incentivize your reps to get more from existing relationships
A savvy sales manager should not only provide incentives for spotting new opportunities and landing new clients, but also reward sales reps for capitalizing on existing customers. Schedule regular meetings to discuss various cross-selling and up-selling strategies and figure out which buyers could benefit the most from similar services. How do you determine who your key accounts are, those who provide the biggest revenue and are more likely to make additional purchases? Do you think you could put extra effort into revisiting long-forgotten accounts? And what does it take to reignite their interest? Encourage your sales reps to put together a list of the most lucrative accounts every month and allocate a sufficient amount of time catering to each buyer. Stress the importance of this activity, explain how it is going to influence their earnings, and always keep them accountable.
Bottomline: Growing existing accounts is a powerful sales strategy that should NEVER be ignored. Driven and savvy sales professionals should create a specific action plan designed to foster, cultivate and leverage existing relationships and get the most of every opportunity.