“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.”
Sales leaders, key in on this for a moment…
The attention by your salespeople determines the experiences your clients have. Conversely, these experiences determine the quality of your salespeople’s lives.
Is your team allowing distractions to derail them?
What are they paying attention to?
To set all of this up… Allow me to take you back to 1890. In his book The Principles of Psychology, Vol.1, William James wrote a simple statement that’s packed with meaning: “My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determine the life you live. Basically, you must control your attention to control your life.
Applying this theory to your sales team…
What kind of experiences are your salespeople creating for their clients?
Let’s set this all up…
I realize it is challenging for your salespeople to prospect for new business while trying to retain their current clients.
Choosing what they pay attention to or how they divvy up their time can be challenging, as you and I know how busy they all are running around doing “stuff”.
Research continually shows us that it costs businesses significantly more to acquire new clients as opposed to retaining them. Successful businesses and their leadership understand the importance of providing and continually creating outstanding client relationships.
Your salespeople become a huge factor in determining if your clients stay or if they go.
Allow me to take you back to the spring of 1982 and introduce you to The Clash. Their hit entitled “Should I Stay or Should I Go” further reinforces the point within this article.
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
Customers rely on their emotional experiences with salespeople more than any of the traditional factors, according to research by the Peppers & Rogers Group, which showed:
- 60% of all customers stop dealing with a company because of what they perceive as indifference on the part of salespeople
- 70% of customers leave a company because of poor service, which is usually attributed to a salesperson
What this reinforces is the importance that attitude and emotion play in determining whether your clients leave or stay. It’s mission-critical for your salespeople to understand their client’s attitudes and regularly collect their feedback.
Chew on this… Why do your clients do business with you? Is it because they feel valued and well taken care of? I guarantee the “why” will have a monumental impact on you, your salespeople, and the loyalty of your clients.
ARE YOUR SALESPEOPLE TAKING RELATIONSHIPS FOR GRANTED?
“Life is a precious gift – a gift we often take for granted until it is threatened.”
Taking things for granted is an awful mistake many of us make and a huge strategic error that afflicts many salespeople.
Unfortunately, and for many in sales when success sets in the “complacency syndrome” kicks in.
Taking your clients for granted is equivalent to shutting down your business.
Your salespeople are not indispensable given the fierce competition. Your clients have options and they will not stick around for long when complacency sets in.
According to research conducted by Microsoft and cited inside the Nextiva blog – “100 Essential Customer Service Statistics and Trends for 2022, update: June 3rd, 2021.”
“68% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience.”
Sales leaders out there… let’s apply this quote to your salespeople but with a twist…
Could 68% of your clients stop doing business with your salespeople due to a poor experience or lack of attention?
STOP ALLOWING YOUR SALESPEOPLE TO GROW YOUR COMPETITORS NEXT GREAT CLIENT
Chew on this for a moment…
How do you truly know your salespeople are delivering value to your clients?
Are your salespeople really giving them what they value more effectively than your competitors?
How sure are you?
It’s not a good idea to take your client’s loyalty for granted. Meeting their expectations is just not good enough. Your clients want to know you and your salespeople care.
I truly believe it’s more effective to act as if no one knows you or recognizes the value you bring because this will make you show it every day.
Would you know the last time one of your salespeople met with their clients and asked them, “What value do my services, products, or solutions create for you?” I am waiting for your answer, still waiting, still waiting; this is what I thought – it has been a while or never.
I encourage you to think about this question “What does value add look like to your clients?” I bet your clients want to increase sales and grow their client base, correct?
Here is an exercise for your next sales meeting… Ask your team these two questions and have them write down their responses to:
How do I help my clients gain a competitive advantage?
What is my client’s perception of value in working with me?
STAY TOP OF MIND OR BECOME AN AFTER THOUGHT
Sustaining meaningful value in the minds of your clients requires persistence and extreme focus.
Think about the following and then think about your clients:
- What’s happening right now within their business?
- What changes if any may be happening to them right now?
- What problems may they be facing?
- What difficulties are they encountering in their marketplace?
If your salespeople are not spending quality time in getting to know their clients better, then I guarantee someone else will be.
HOW WELL DO YOUR SALESPEOPLE UNDERSTAND THEIR CLIENT’S BUSINESS?
Creating true, authentic, and genuine relationships requires spending informal time with your clients.
Do your salespeople REALLY know what’s important to their clients and their business?
I believe true leadership for a sales professional is their ability to affect change and to become influential inside their current accounts.
With all sincerity, when your salespeople get to know their clients inside and out, they can then start to personalize the attention they to give them.
START TREATING THEM AS CLIENTS
Between you and your team, do you view your customers as customers, or do you view them as clients? How many refer to 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.
Are your salespeople building customers or are they building clients?
You can’t expect to get Nordstrom’s level of service at Target or Walmart!
Think long and hard about this one… Are your salespeople viewed as sales rep who sells products and services or are they viewed as someone who enlightens, adds value, informs, advises, counsels, nurtures, and becomes an advocate on behalf of their clients?
Question for you…
Is it 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 you and then moving on?
As the sales leader, you must coach your salespeople to build meaningful relationships with their clients who value their professional advice rather than banging on them to find customers who make a one-time purchase.
An ever-flowing relationship funnel will fuel an ever-flowing sales funnel
If you and your salespeople fail to keep your clients as such, they could turn into customers.
In today’s complex business environment, it’s the ideas, insight, information, help, and guidance your salespeople provide which will continually earn them the privilege of doing business with your clients.
Coach your salespeople to initiate conversations focused on their future needs, upcoming projects, and areas of potential growth.
I will leave you all to think about this…
Are Your Salespeople Growing Your Competitors Next Great Client?