After a lot of hard work and effort, you or your team has landed the sale and revenue is coming in. But that doesn’t mean the sales process is over. In fact, a new phase begins – maintaining the relationship. Whether you’re a sales rep responsible for servicing the client after the deal or whether you’re an account manager who has taken handoffs from your team’s hunters, you can read today’s post to find four excellent ways to keep the relationship going – or become even more profitable.
Communication is critical.
You’ll want to keep in contact with the client and not just to check in that everything is going well or to look for areas of improvement (though that’s important, too!). Stay current on the client’s industry – both existing trends and forecasted changes. Share that information with them and ask their thoughts on the matter.
If there’s an opportunity to demonstrate how your existing service fits in that mold or another one of your offerings addresses a new need, take advantage of that as well – but not in a sales pitch way. Rather, cast it as something for them to think about adding on that will further strengthen their position in the marketplace.
Part of communication is also asking for referrals. As Nielsen found in their research, 82% of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase, and that number jumps to 92% for the 18-34 demographic. More significantly, two-thirds are more likely to consider a recommended option. Of course, you also need to ask at the appropriate time.
Become a go-to authority.
There’s few ways of building trust and strengthening a relationship faster than becoming an expert in something. In your case, that involves being aware of what’s going on in your own industry and willing to recommend solutions to existing clients’ problems – even if it’s not with you. Perhaps a competitor has an area of specialty or offering that you don’t and it fits the need. Mentioning that to the client will score major relationship building points.
We know – you’re busy checking out other leads and trying to convert new clients to bring more revenue to the company. But when a current customer contacts you with a question, concern, or even information-sharing of their own, you need to reply as soon as possible. Remember, it’s much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current client happy, and you want to maximize each customer’s lifetime value. So regardless of how many leads or prospects you’re working with, move current customer responses to the top of your action items list. Customer neglect leads to customer apathy, which in turn leads to a lost client.
Keep the CRM information up to date.
With every contact and every issue pending or resolved, log it into your CRM. Maintaining meticulous records will allow you to track when you’ve corresponded with the client, what you spoke about, and a history of the relationship. In this way, you can recall information when touching base with the contact to refer to previous areas you’ve assisted with, know when to get feedback, and avoid putting any cross- and up-sell requests too close together. It’s also a way to verify when you should be reaching out to the client again to keep yourself and your organization top of mind.
Maintaining relationships with your current clients is important to ensure renewals and possible expansion of services. The time investment and following these listed guidelines helps extend the expected customer lifetime value and establish a mutually beneficial relationship