What would you do if you lost your biggest client tomorrow? What have you done lately to ensure that doesn’t happen? In a recent article for Sales Hacker, Larry Levine writes that many sales reps just aren’t doing what they need to do to retain big-business clients. And, often, losing a client comes as a shock. “It’s a cold dose of reality when a competitor walks away with one of their largest accounts and no one ever saw it coming,” he writes. Competitors can easily poach your clients if you fail to:
- Take care of them
- Listen to them
- Love them
- Learn from them
- Even grow with them
Even if you neglect just one of these areas, it will start to “fester” over time, according to Levine. To avoid this (and meet all of those aforementioned requirements) reps must focus on client relationships. He shares three ways you can make sure that your client relationships don’t falter: Look for potential roadblocks and landmines within your largest accounts, crave feedback (consistently) from clients, and leverage feedback to identify key areas for improvement.
3 Ways To Invest
He explains how each of the three ways impact relationships, and how reps should implement each one. For example, when it comes to craving feedback, he writes, “If you fail to continually find out what your clients actually think about you and your service, you’ll never be able to give them the best experience they deserve. It’s their opinions about the experience they have with you that’s helpful information to use to adjust your support to fit their needs more accurately.” Levine recommends digging in deep with each client, so you know exactly how they are feeling about you and your business. Even if it means rocking the boat a bit, asking the hard questions and getting feedback will actually help you retain, rather than lose, clients.
After reading his article, think about how his suggestions align with your current management of client relations. As he points out, if you truly crave sales success, you have to make it all about your clients. If this happens, clients will happily stay. As he points out, “integrating feedback, caring, and connectivity are jet fuel for building meaningful client relationships with your largest clients.”