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Are You Focusing Enough On Fostering Customer Relationships?


If you take a second to think of your most successful selling methods, does customer relations come remotely close to your top considerations?

Contrary to the way salespeople are wired, fostering customer relationships is one of the most important parts of the job, and it’s the most valuable and effective way to sell.

Colin Shaw, CEO of Beyond Philosophy, details several valuable statistics that should change the business world, but haven’t. Here are the stats you should care about most:

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent; the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5 to 20 percent  (Marketing Metrics)
  • It’s six to seven times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one (Bain & Company)

Despite these stats, salespeople often have a “hunter’s mentality.” While it’s part of what makes you successful, adopting a “nurturer’s mentality” actually empowers you to do more with your limited time.

For starters, discovery calls are unnecessary with current clients, as are many of the other meetings that occur between the discovery and final discussions. You already have a good foundation on who your customer is and what their pains are. With a strong emphasis on customer relations, closing renewals is an exceptionally efficient exercise.

This all boils down to one simple job – make your customers happy. The happier your customers are, the more likely you are to drive up the lifetime value of each and every one of them.

Considering the cost of new customer acquisition and the amount of work you’ve already put in to bringing on your current clients, you should be doing everything in your power to drive up their lifetime value.

What are the keys to great customer relations? 

  • Check in periodically to see how your customers are doing. Reach out on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis depending on the customer. This proactive approach not only shows that you’re attentive, but it also keeps you from missing anything that might affect your chances of a renewal down the line.
  • Consult your customers on how to get the most value out of your solution. Offer “tips and tricks” to make them feel good about the value they’re getting from your service. The more they see you as a helping hand, the stronger your customer relationships are. This type of communication is also a more natural way to check in than simply saying, “How’s it going?”
  • Plan to ask for your customers’ feedback on a predetermined schedule – a certain amount of time into their engagement. Develop a standard set of questions that help your team gather information on how to better serve your clients. Not only does it help you improve your customer relations skills in the future, but it also gets them more invested in the project roadmap and your services.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Allow yourself to take one eye off of your prospects. Give some attention to your customers! You have a 50 percent greater chance of selling to an existing customer than a prospect and current customers are six to seven times less costly to close a deal with. Help customers maximize value in your engagement, remain proactive by periodically staying in touch and always ask for their feedback. The happier you make your customers, the greater value those engagements bring your organization over time.

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