B2B small business & sales people need to be thinking about our client’s experience, and our client relationships, at all times. It’s easy to become complacent when we think everything is going well with a regular client. Why rock the boat?
But relationships change and evolve. Your client’s circumstances can also change.
Clear Communication with Clients
You need a plan to stay on the same page with your client and evaluate where you are with them. “Checking in” on a client should be more than a courtesy call. You need to get real information about what they are doing, accomplishing, and goals they want to achieve – and how and if you can be a part of them getting to where they want to go with their business. It’s a continuing relationship that needs attention and care.
We usually have a system and a plan in place for how to communicate with your prospect turned client, all the way through the sales cycle. Too often that’s where it ends. It’s assumed, or more accurately hoped, that they’ll be a client forever. It’s a dangerous assumption.
Make a plan to regularly communicate with your clients besides your normal sales calls. This can include newsletters, blogs, etc – but should also include conversations with individual clients to enhance rapport.
Awkward Conversations with Clients
Don’t be afraid of uncomfortable conversations if you sense there may be a problem. Often people don’t like having uncomfortable conversations. Your client might feel uncomfortable bringing up a small dissatisfaction. You need to have confidence that you have a strong enough relationship, to have everything on the table, and get ahead of potential problems.
You especially need to be proactive if something major happens with your client, such as, a change in leadership or decision makers with whom you have developed a relationship – this is not the time to avoid rocking the boat.
New decision makers may have a new vision, new goals, and different ways of doing business. You need to establish a relationship with the new people.
The point is, don’t take anything for granted and consistently work on your relationships with your clients. Create an environment where you and your client can be honest about what is happening. This allows you know if you are meeting their needs and expectations.
If you’re not meeting your clients needs there are plenty of other who will.
Contact us to see if we can help you with your project. Business plans, Marketing plans, SWOT analysis, Market research, Strategic planning, Customer surveys, Employee surveys.