Insights

Improving Client Relationships Through Workability

January 23, 2019
Improving Client Relationships Through Workability

One of your top responsibilities as a sales leader is to ensure that your sales team represents your company correctly.

This is something easy to forget, but to a client or prospect your sales team IS the company.

Therefore, you and your team should strive to make the best impression possible.

And as a sales leader, you should strive to improve overall workability.

A relationship between a buyer and a seller that is built on integrity will work.

In workable client relationships, people become more productive because everyone involved is considered equal.

In this type of relationship, people inherently respect each other.

They communicate openly and respond on a timely basis. They honor their promises and follow through on them. If they know they won’t be able to keep a promise, they let the other person know as soon as possible.

Within workable client relationships, people focus on moving things forward. This includes making clear requests of each other, which are accepted, declined, or counter offered.

Unfortunately, many client relationships devolve into a state of “unworkability”.

This can start with idle gossip, which can lead to a pervasive lack of respect for a client, especially if left unchecked.

On the other hand, clients and prospects don’t realize how demoralizing it is for salespeople when communication goes unanswered. When a prospect goes radio silent, salespeople begin to second-guess themselves. They wonder if something they said or did offended the other party.

Let’s examine “workability” in client relationships by using an analogy.

Let a bicycle wheel represent a client relationship. Think about what holds that wheel together. The spokes, right?

If you remove a few of the spokes, that wheel might still work, but not at 100 percent.

For client relationships to work, whereby all spokes are present and accounted for, everyone must honor their word.

Simply put, honoring your word means that your word means something and should be taken seriously.

Within a workable relationship, it’s OK to break your word, provided that you quickly and responsibly acknowledge it.

Communicating ahead of time that you will not be able to fulfill a promise enables you to break your word, while still honoring it.

Make sure you inform others who may be impacted by this. If breaking your word causes a mess, clean it up as soon as possible.

Keys to Workability:

  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Stay engaged.
  • Understand the client’s industry in general and their business specifically.
  • Understand the client’s goals.
  • Quantify value.
  • Honor your word.
  • Get back to each other on a timely basis.
  • Give honest and timely feedback.
  • Make promises and deliver on them.
  • Make clear requests.
  • Minimize sharing casual opinions.
  • Don’t gossip about each other.

If you'd like to read more about workability, be sure to download my eBook: Making Client Relationships Work.

Free Resource: Making Client Relationships Work: A Guide for Sales Leaders

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