Grace Lanni, Founding Partner We are ALL salespeople for our own agenda whether your title is salesrep or marketing or IT or shipping & receiving. Building relationships is an ongoing effort. Just because a CFO signed a $M order for you last year, doesn’t mean you can retain this level of relationship forever. It also doesn’t mean that CFO will not move on! Without regular engagement, you can forget being passed along as a trusted relationship during the transition.
Behaviors cannot be separated from relationship. What built the relationship in the first place is either behaviors (calls, emails, regular marketing updates) or referrals from a trusted relationship. The referral trust halo only lasts for the first encounter. From there, you must double-time the behaviors to transfer the trust at the referral level.
I’m writing today because I see lazy sales reps at my client sites and they tick me off. They are coddled and celebrated and allowed to be jerks when others aren’t. These monsters are either wildly successful with big deals and won’t take the time to call their clients, OR they are not successful and are modeling the arrogance of the first.
Clearly, a $M sales rep must prioritize. If you don’t have the time to do what must be done to maintain your relationships either a) downsize your client base or b) bring on a junior rep to schedule visits when you are in the area and to maintain the relationship behaviors for you on a bi-weekly basis. Don’t have the time to type blog entries or updates on LinkedIn? Jot notes and have someone write/post for you, after you review.
Clients are people too. To understand your clients, you must cultivate multiple relationships at multiple levels. Just because the IT guy at your client site loves your technology, doesn’t mean your users are happy with your UI (user interface).
Stand by for parts 2 and 3:
How Often Should You Call, Email, or Social Your Client? Part 2 of 3
Building Relationship Teams is Not the Same as a Pursuit Team. Part 3 of 3