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How do you connect with sales prospects?

A woman and two men sitting around a table discussing work

You’ve just met a great new contact, and you’re deeply involved in the early stages of your meeting. You know your business can work well for this client. You know you can solve their problems and deliver what they need. You are full to the brim with all the passion you have for the business you work in, for the solutions you can offer.

The phone rings. It’s that client you’ve had for years. All round good bloke, consistently on your Christmas card list. A regular customer, pays on time. You divert the call. You know he is sound and you really need to get this proposal finished for this new guy …

Whoa! Back it up. You just diverted an existing client on the basis that you’re sure they’re okay because they always are? This is a common error among sales teams worldwide. You expend all this energy into developing new contacts but forget that your old clients used to be the new people, and they need some extra attention too. Are you better off excusing yourself to the new client for a minute while you briefly take the call? Are you better off using the auto text option stating that you are in a meeting and will call them back as soon as you can? This is always a juggling act and one solution does not work for every occasion.

The cost of poor customer care

Customer retention is essential to run a good business. You can’t just keep turning over new clients, especially in a market as small as New Zealand. According to research, increasing customer retention rates by just 5 per cent can increase profits by as much as 95 per cent. It can also help you win new business with close to 40 per cent of customers recommending the services of an organisation with good service.

Turn a negative into a positive

On the flip side, 80 per cent of customers said they would switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, and it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for just one negative one. You can’t underestimate the importance of existing client care. Thankfully, according to recent research, 78 per cent of customers are willing to do business again with a company after a mistake if their customer service has otherwise been excellent. Mistakes happen, account relationship maintenance is essential to fix them.

3 easy ways to maintain existing accounts

1)  Schedule regular check-ins: According to Salesforce, 80 per cent of consumers say the experience a company provides is just as necessary as its products and services, and 79 per cent of B2B customers expect businesses to know their unique needs. It doesn’t take much effort to provide that personal touch. Whether it is a monthly zoom meeting, or just quick phone call, touching base with an existing client counts for a lot.

2)  Provide ongoing support: Especially during in the pandemic and beyond, your clients want to know you’ve got their back. 75 per cent of customers desire a consistent experience, regardless of how they engage with a company and 64 per cent want their issues resolved in real time. Nurture your clients, be available and make it easy to get in touch. Training, such as the David Forman training programmes, extend this approach, so that you can apply the same process and principles across sales.

3)  Be proactive: Now more than ever is the time to go that extra mile and offer your existing clients added value. Find new opportunities that are right for them. Think deeply about what their business needs might be and how you can meet them. Position yourself as an active extension of their in-house team.

David Forman sales training can help your sales teams with their ongoing client relationship skills, and we also offer Customer Experience skills for team members who are involved in the all important customer care.  Find out what we offer here.