recently conducted a customer satisfaction study
for a client in engineering industry, on effectiveness
of sales personnel. The study covered over 450
customer organizations across the country, which
included 2-3 decision makers in each of the customer
One of the major finding (amongst many other crucial
learning points) was ;
Sales person contact clients only when there is
this article, let's address this problem by exploring
various ways a sales person can keep in touch
without becoming an irritant.
Assess the lifetime value:
Staying top of mind takes time & patience
-something all sales-marketing personnel seems
to have too little of. Before you prepare a six
times or more per year contact plan, make sure
you want to keep in touch. Ask yourself, "How
much business will this client potentially have
over the next 12-24 months? Is it worth my time
to make sure we are the first ones they think
of for new assignments?"
much as we can grow to like our clients on a personal
level, not all are worth a continuing business
2. Have a value
The fear of bothering or annoying their clients
keeps many salespersons from contacting them.
In some cases, that may actually be the truth,
especially the discussion consist of you asking,
"So, when we (or I) will get the order?"
. However, in each contact you make, if you provide
some sort of value, they will look forward to
hearing from you and ultimately remember you by
the extra value you provide.
can provide value in the form of new information
about trends in their industry, an article you
thought would be of interest to them, or simply
a perspective on a recent news item about the
Educate them about you:
If you only call your clients once a year, do
not be surprised when a client says, "I didn't
know you did that, too." It is important
to let clients know about new products/services
you provide that they may not have experienced.
If they are happy clients, they will certainly
be open to hearing about the other work you do.
will be even more receptive to hearing about your
services if you provide value in the telling-case
studies, 'what-if' scenarios from the work, similarities
of problems and solutions, etc.
Not an e-mail every time.
We all like variety in our lives. Do not let your
communication plan get stuck in the world of electronics.
Letters, especially because they are so rare these
days, stand out and get through. Hand-written
cards, newsletters, brochures, and phone calls
all provide a different feel and impression to
mixing up the communication vehicles, you stand
a better chance of your clients actually seeing
and reading what you have sent. In addition, old-fashioned
hard copy material will stay on the client's desk
and become more than just top of mind & maybe
remain closest at hand.
Build the Relationship:
In the end, getting business is all about relationships.
True relationships are honest, sincere, and of
value to both parties. As you work to stay top
of mind, also be true of heart in developing a
relationship that is meaningful and desired by
the client as much as it is desired by you.
client relationship built on a strong foundation
of periodic, valued, and sincere communication
has less of a chance of being ignored, when someone
new comes along or you happen to be the last one
in the door.