Sales Opportunity – Focus on Poorly Serviced Clients

When you work in sales of any type you will see prime examples of clients that are not serviced well.  It could be that they do not purchase often enough, or not in sufficient volume to rank as a priority.  That being said, they are likely to be an opportunity in waiting.

Many of those poorly serviced clients not purchasing much today can be key clients of the future.  Everything changes in business and you should not accept the status quo when it comes to clients and their business situations.  Keep in touch so you know when their business or personal situation requires your product or service.

It is interesting to note that many salespeople do not maintain regular and consistent contact with their entire database.  In most situations they will contact less than 25 clients on a regular basis.  All other clients will be relegated to the ‘call me when you need me’ process.

It has been proven that a regular 90 day contact system with all clients in your database will build greater business opportunity than just waiting for the ‘client to call’ when they want something.  After the third contact of 90 days, the client or prospect starts to see that you are really interested in them and their needs.  It is likely that they will get closer to your business and could potentially over time convert to a key customer.

So often I have seen sales and customer service situations where many clients and prospects move to another supplier simply because they felt overlooked or neglected.  That’s something to be avoided.

Here is a contact model to help your business growth:

  1. Understand who your key clients are by definition and location.  Yes they will need special attention; however that attention should be in balance with all other clients.
  2. Create a contact model for Key clients and then all others.  Key clients should be contacted at least every 30 days.  Other clients should be contacted inside 90 days regardless of their status.
  3. Use a multi faceted contact process to give your clients information about your product or service and any changes of product that they may be interested in.  The contact tools that you can use should include email newsletter, direct calls, and drop in meetings, product updates, and industry briefings.  In balance they create a good source of market and product information.
  4. Look at the competitors in your industry and identify their client base.  It is likely that you can open the contact process with some of their clients.
  5. Devote the first part of your day to contacting at least 10 new people that you have not made contact with previously.  When this is done in balance with your existing database you have a pipeline of growth.

Those clients that are underserviced will be great allies, if and when you convert them to greater levels of business.  It may take months or years to move them closer to your business, however the journey is worth it with some clients.

Secrets of Good Client Contact in Sales Teams

In business today there are many types of customers and yet we forget to handle each of them separately and specially.  It is important to have a customer communication and contact system specifically designed for the different types of customers.

This then says that every customer type should have a dedicated part within your customer contact program.  The strategies between customers types will differ based on some of the following criteria:

  1. You will have some loyal clients that have been working with you and purchasing your products or services for many years.  They will bring stability to your business with consistent purchases and orders.  Some of those loyal clients will be key accounts by definition, and also by volume of sales and orders.
  2. Your service and response should be different between ordinary customers and key accounts.  Differentiate the ways in which you will work with key clients.  Senior sales staff should be dedicated to each particular key account to ensure relevance and responsiveness when it comes to the supply of goods and services.
  3. From time to time you will get referral business and new clients from a number of sources.  Referral business is built around the relationships, leads, and opportunities that you have with other people.  When you have been given a referral, it is necessary to specifically and productively work through the referral opportunity.  Only your best salespeople should take on the referral contact and potential conversion.  It may also be necessary to give feedback to the person that made the initial introduction as the referral relationship changes and grows.
  4. Some of your existing customers will benefit from an improved version of your product or service.  Working closely with your clients throughout the year will help you identify these special customers.  Over time they can be converted to key accounts.
  5. When any new versions of your product or service are being considered for release, an industry briefing or prelaunch presentation can be organized for your key customers.
  6. Some of your current customers will be very happy with the existing levels of product supply and service.  They will however never reach the purchasing or order levels of a key account.  They still require special attention to ensure stability of customer relationship and ongoing sales.
  7. The profit margins that may exist on a typical customer sale will differ when it comes to a key account.  Purchase volume and purchase amount has a lot to do with setting the lower margins for the key customers.  To simplify the matter, set 3 simple levels of key account profit margins based on levels of sale and volumes of purchase.  It is usually sufficient to have three levels of pricing relating to key account interaction.  As part of this process it is important to understand the orders placed and purchases made by each key account throughout the year.
  8. Some of your customers will be seasonal in their purchasing activities.  They may only require your product or service once a year.  That being said, when they place an order and purchase it is likely to be in large volumes for a short period of time.  They can therefore place special pressures on the staffing and supply chain, and on that basis will require unique understanding and communication systems.

Protect the relationships with each and every client within your business.  Competitors will be chasing your clients and threatening your market share most of the time.  It is quite easy for a client to move their product or service requirements across to another supplier.  Business today is quite dynamic and demanding.  Ensure that your product and or service are of the highest quality at all times.  Any weak links need to be removed or rectified.

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