In most industries, you need to have a touch of selfishness in your nature to be good at sales. After all, you have to beat out the competition to get those accounts signed. At the end of your pitch, you’ll either win or lose. Even when working closely with a team of other marketing and sales agents, your goal should always be the brightest shining light in the room, the super-seller that everyone else wants to be like.
Having the winning, super-competitive, relentless drive needed to meet and exceed quotas every month will get you the sales. It won’t, however, help you hang on to that crucial big fat twenty-percent of clients who’ll keep company bank accounts filled with cash.
For that you have to make sure you (and your team, if applicable) are constantly striving to maintain and grow your relationship with each client after the deal is inked:
1. Be mindful of proper voicemail etiquette
Texts and emails too. Always – and I mean always – mind your manners when leaving voicemails to clients or fellow staffers. Sales is stressful, often lonely, and it’s easy to get mad when you don’t hear back from someone right away. You won’t be there when the client or coworker hears your angry rant. Always keep your tone professional and leave confrontation for face-to-face conversations.
2. Never write ANYTHING bad about your client anywhere
The old saying “put it in writing” exists because once you’ve put something in ink, it’s official. The client may never see that you wrote how nit-picky or rude they are, but they might. Just like your wife or husband can get a hold of your phone when you’re not watching and see the texts you’ve been sharing with your ex, the client to may one day see the inter-office communications you’ve been sharing back and forth through your CRM, or get mistakenly CC’d into an inner-office email.
3. Respect the client’s time
One of the easiest ways to show a client you don’t care and probably won’t keep the promises you make is to show up late to a meeting, or not be available on the phone or chat when you say you will. There’s just no excuse on your end, unless you have a solid-built relationship with them to begin with and a very good reason for being late – even then, your integrity can still be tarnished. See this Wiki on how to protect your rep if you know you’re going to be late: How to Pull of Being Late to a Meeting
4. Talk to your boss when things aren’t going well
If you’ve been #1 in the office forever, then this won’t apply. However, if your sales aren’t good, you need to keep in touch with your boss and let them know that your poor performance isn’t for lack of effort. Tell them about the meetings you have set up, go over your pitch with them – ask for their advice. Don’t assume that they’ll assume you’ll bounce back in no time. They could already be looking for your replacement!
5. Be supportive of your fellow sales reps
Appreciate all your coworkers and they’ll generally appreciate you back. When they’re down, give them a pat on the back or take them out for a coffee and listen to them. Then when a day comes that you need that same lift, they’ll be there for you. Maintaining a positive mood around the office is essential to always being ready to close a sale or help solve a customer complaint professionally.
6. Always thank your client
A small thank you can go a long way toward building a good relationship. Every time they place an order, say thanks. Thank them in person, then follow up with an official written thank you through email or lettermail. Even if it doesn’t seem like it’s having any effect trust me, it is.
7. Leave your job at the office
Take the pressures of your sales job home with you and you’re sure to burn out eventually. Set a time of day, not long after the workday ends where you flip the career switch off and let your mind and body recuperate from the rigors of the day. Do this and you’ll be able to start every day feeling invigorated and ready to attack the world!
Have Any Tips of Your Own to Share?
If you have any client management tips of your own that you’d like to share with the rest of us, don’t hesitate to leave it down in the comments.