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In the current climate, leaders are experiencing an abundance of change, whether imposed or by choice. Most of these changes are out of our control, but we have business to do. If you happen to run a sales or service business, these matters are affecting your clients and customers as well. What are you to do?
A few things that are surely in order for action are checking in with your customers. After all, they are not coming to look for you, and, quite frankly, they shouldn’t have to. I believe it’s better for you to check in. Before you reach out to your client, however, remember the call should benefit both you and them.
A few things to consider in preparing for a call are as follows.
1. Consider news in their industry.
Many people trade with clients across various lines of business, so all clients aren’t the same, which means their businesses are affected by different things. In order to maximize each call and foster extended conversation, you should update yourself on your client’s industry issues and discuss them with the client. This will give the client an opportunity to educate you and share information you otherwise might not have received.
2. Take notes.
After the call, you need to be able to recall what went on. We can get caught up in the flow of a call and, at the conclusion, forget something key. Taking notes serves the purpose of recall. If you meet in person or on a video call, taking notes can also show you’re listening to the client.
3. Inform and update.
Offer the client something really useful. You can, within reason, be an industry information resource. Your client might be busy operating their business and not have time to read. Offer the by-product of your study on the industry and ask them if this is something they agree with. Supply the client with links to your reference material. This allows them to refer to the information later. Make a note about what you discussed and what was provided. Then, follow up.
4. Ask for referrals.
Once you have attended to your client’s need, ask whether anyone they may know needs to have this information as well. They most likely will know someone. Make a note in your notebook, and thank the client.
5. Remember the small things.
Remember the little things about your client. Perhaps they have a hobby, children, resolved a recent problem, etc. In my experience, remembering personal details like these shows you are thoughtful. I also recommend writing down the names of their staff who contact the boss often. Show them they are important as well. Use the same recall notes and tactics as above.
Clients today have more to contend with than in the past, and they need service now more than ever. Sales professionals should position themselves as resources that are reliable and knowledgeable. In order to to be of service, you need to offer something different, and you need to continue (or start) to learn new things. The world is resetting, and knowledge has always been the key to change. Become knowledgeable and share that information.