Working to maintain a client relationship is an ongoing process.
Where do you coach your salespeople to start? How do they continue to keep it healthy?
How Your Sales Philosophy Helps Maintain a Client Relationship
Read on for a few suggestions.
When your salespeople are giving their first presentation and forming a new client relationship, ask them to talk about your company’s sales philosophy.
This allows your salespeople to share more about how much your company cares about a client relationship, and ultimately, create a deeper bond.
Lose The “About Us” Slide
You’ve seen the “About Us” slide, right? It’s usually at the beginning of the deck and includes stuff like: “we were founded in blah, blah,” or “we are recognized as the top player in our industry,” etc. etc. It starts like any other run of the mill presentation that your prospects see from umpteen numbers of salespeople.
Not only is it boring, but also this approach provides unnecessary reasons for your prospects to disqualify you. For example, if you say, “we are the biggest,” they might conclude that your company has a big overhead and your fees are going be high to cover it.
On the other hand, you might say, “we are a small, boutique firm.” In this case, they’ll think you’re not big enough to handle this project. Either way, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
I suggest you replace the “About Us” slide with an Our Sales Philosophy slide. This slide will describe your criteria for a successful client relationship.
Your Sales Philosophy
A simple and sincere sales philosophy is likely to solicit more interest than blabbing on about your company’s accomplishments. I teach how to apply a universal Sales Philosophy. You are free to use the following as is, or change to suit your needs.
You might introduce it by saying, “before continuing with the rest my presentation, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about our three-part sales philosophy. We believe this helps to define a successfully working client relationship.”
Part 1: We Are a Feedback Organization
This is one of my favorites. Explaining that you welcome feedback allows your prospect to know in advance that a healthy client relationship is important to you. Giving and receiving honest and timely feedback is critical to building a strong client relationship.
Note I said “timely,” which I will come back to in a moment.
You can expand on this by saying, “we live and die on feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Rather than shy away from negative feedback, we welcome it. We learn from it and we can correct our mistakes more easily when you let us know.”
Timely feedback is critical. I suggest you emphasize this point to head off “radio silence,” which is a big source of suffering for your salespeople.
When describing a working client relationship to a prospect, I often say “I would love to hear from you as soon as possible, especially if I have missed the mark or you are not interested in moving forward. At least I know where I stand and I wont pester you any further.”
The worst feedback is no feedback!
Part 2: We Must Add Value
Consistently solving problems is arguably the best way to maintain a successful client relationship. This part of your sales philosophy describes your commitment to asking relevant questions that uncover problems and other significant concerns.
By gathering this information, your company can apply its resources to add value.
Part 3: We Are Invested in a Long-Term Relationship
Above all, it's important to stress that you are invested in maintaining a working client relationship for a long time.
When describing this part, you might say out loud, “even if we aren’t awarded this opportunity to do business with you, we would be honored if you allow us to continue to maintain this valuable client relationship.” The point is to continue to let people know how important this relationship is to you, your salespeople, and your organization.
We often overlook how important it is to discuss philosophy before getting right down to business. Doing so allows people to know not only that you care, but also what you care about.