A massive challenge for copier sales reps is attracting and obtaining net new business while trying to retain current customers. Choosing where to spend your energy or how to divvy up your time can be challenging. I know how busy you all are running around doing “stuff”!
It costs your dealership significantly more to acquire new customers than it does to retain them, as most successful dealerships understand the importance of maintaining outstanding customer relationships.
Why have dealerships become lazy when it comes to maintaining their customer relationships?
WHAT DRIVES LAZINESS WITHIN COPIER DEALERSHIPS?
A picture speaks a thousand words…
Taking things for granted is an awful mistake we all make. A huge and unfortunate strategic error copier sales reps and their dealerships make is taking their customers for granted. When success sets in and everyone inside the dealership finds itself in a strong position the thought process seems to then revolve around your products and your services as being top-class, unique and something their customers can’t live without.
Taking your customers for granted is equivalent to shutting down your dealership since it is your customers who call the shots now.
You as a copier sales rep and the offerings within your dealership are not indispensable given the fierce competition. Your customers have so many options that they do not need to stick with a company which takes them for granted. They would much rather jump ship and go to a company who respects them, understands their needs and treats them well.
Taking your customers for granted will permeate throughout your dealership. Remember your dealership exists because of your customers.
Customer retention, loyalty and the service experience you provide are the foundation to your survival
Attention to all copier sales reps and the dealerships you work for…
Don’t take repeat business for granted or you will struggle to expand!
3 WAYS COPIER SALES REPS TAKE THEIR CUSTOMERS FOR GRANTED
How can you protect your customer base from erosion? This is quite simple -Stop taking your customers for granted. Your current customer base has never more vulnerable than it is now.
Flip this on its head, attack the competition and their complacent, taking for granted mindset to drive enormous net new business growth. In order to achieve success, let’s remove the obstacles preventing you from achieving sales growth.
ASSUME YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THE VALUE YOU BRING
Chew on this for a moment…
How do you truly know you are delivering value to your clients?
Are you really giving them what they really value more effectively than your competitors?
Are you sure?
How do you know if your services or products are adding the right kind of value to your existing customers? You can’t assume any longer. Just because they renew their leases with you doesn’t mean anything any longer. All this means is they don’t know any better than what they know.
When is the last time you went belly to belly, face to face with your customers and asked them, “What value do our services or products create for you?” I am waiting for your answer, still waiting, still waiting; this is what I thought – it has been awhile.
I encourage you all to think about this question “What does value add look like to your customers?” I bet all of your customers want to increase their sales and grow their customer base, correct?
Here is a personal exercise… Ask yourself these two questions and then write down your responses to:
How do I help my customer’s gain a competitive advantage?
What is my customer’s perception of value in working with me?
To understand the meaning of value, you must first put yourself in your customer’s shoes and see the world through their eyes.
ASSUME YOUR CUSTOMERS REALLY KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Creating true, authentic and genuine relationships by spending informal time with your customers will help you to understand them and their businesses.
What’s important to them and their business; the return will far outweigh the investment. How well do you truly know your customers and how well do they know you? With all sincerity, when you get to know your customers inside and out, you can personalize the attention you give them.
In my last blog, 3 Ways A Servant Led Mindset Helps Sales Reps Crush Quota, true leadership as a sales rep is the ability to affect change and influence people inside your current accounts.
The more you can lead with a servant led mindset the better you will be in the long run. The aim is to be seen as a trusted adviser. When your input is greatly appreciated by your customers, it’s less likely they will engage with your competition. Stop taking your customers for granted.
THEY TREAT THEIR CUSTOMERS AS CUSTOMERS AND NOT CLIENTS
Throughout this entire blog I have referred to customers as customers. How many have caught onto this?
To all copier reps and management, do you view your customers as customers or do you view them as clients? How many view them as clients but treat them as customers?
How do you know when a customer becomes a client, or the other way around? When a client becomes a customer this becomes a problem.
A bit of advice to copier reps, it is no longer acceptable to manage your lease end portfolio and call yourself a strategic account manager or whatever fancy shmancy title you bestow upon yourself.
Roll it up, dig in and get to know your CLIENTS! See their business through their eyes not your 36 month lease end eyes.
Customers buy things and clients seek advice! You can’t go to Walmart and have a Nordstrom’s experience.
Are you building customers or are you building clients?
Think long and hard about this one… Are you viewed as sales rep of products and services to your customers or do you enlighten, add value, inform, advise, counsel, nurture and become an advocate on behalf of your clients?
Is your personal preference to be sold or served? When you’re in the marketplace as a consumer do you seek out professionals whom you can trust or sleaze-balls selling a product?
Because all of you have been trained real well by management (what does your 30 day look like) your goal should not be to find customers who need something you have right now; rather your intent should be to build sustainable relationships with your clients who value your professional advice based upon the strength of your brand and the need for your expertise.
Ponder this one for a moment the contrast between clients and customers – Ask yourself whether you desire to be paid for what you do for your clients or what you hand them, a copier!
In conclusion, ditch the customer centric mindset and adhere to a client centric mindset. You will attract and retain relationships, command premium prices, develop brand loyalty (YOU), create loyal client relationships thus generating more revenue over the life cycle of a relationship.
I guarantee if you make the mental shift in thought and in action, from customer to client your sales will become healthier and you won’t complain about getting beat up on price.
I understand where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes.
I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social selling into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way.
“Larry is clearly on the forefront of seeing the value of building “social” relationships. He has helped our team realize the importance and power of having a strong, professional “social” presence. His creative ideas and strategies have helped our team gain credibility and move social relationships to quality face to face meetings.” Dean Swenson, The Swenson Group
In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy