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Sales Consulting and Training:

Tips for After the Sale

You’ve been chasing after a particular client like a man possessed. You’ve spent the past six months in meetings, making phone calls, writing proposals, coordinating a proof concept and doing everything in your power to make a sale. The client, after a great deal of effort on your part, finally chose your proposal. The contract was sent over, negotiated and signed. After six months of hard work, the sale is closed. Now that you can expect your commission check, you can shove aside all your effort and move on to the next company. Right? Wrong!?

In order to be successful in sales, you need to build and maintain long-term relationships with your clients.  The first sale is only the beginning.  What you do after the first sale will enable you to build a lucrative relationship that, with a little bit of effort on your part, will lead to follow on sales and new opportunities.

As you’ve sure heard, there is an 80/20 rule that says that 80% of a sales professional’s business comes from 20% of a customer base.  In order to get the most out of those 20%, you need to build and maintain the relationship.  Just like a grapevine needs to be tended to continue producing grapes year after year, so must a client account be maintained to be productive.

First and foremost, you should stay in touch with your account. This is particularly the case immediately after a sale. If a customer just purchased two truckloads of product from your manufacturing facility, call them after the product was delivered. Were they satisfied with the quality of the product? How was delivery? Were there any issues? Did they have any specific feedback for you?  Show them that you care about their business. Let them know you plan on being there for them and can always be relied upon to help out. 

Second, keep them up to date on new products or services. Recently, a professional services company had decided to roll out a new server consolidation consulting offering in conjunction with a large computer hardware vendor. They contacted their customer base to find out if they were had an interest in the financial advantages of a server consolidation. Let your customer be the first to know about new offerings or products that can be of benefit to them. Don’t flood them with what you know they don’t need. Make it a targeted approach to be effective. 

Third, don’t be afraid to call and say hello.  At the end of the day, when the phone is quiet and your customer is catching up on some paperwork, a courtesy call can go a long way… so can lunch or an invitation to some event like a basketball game. 

Fourth, reward your customers. When it makes financial sense for your company, find out how you can give them a little extra something to thank them for their business. Often, companies can provide add-ons that are very inexpensive but can be perceived of high value to a client. Don’t give away the farm, though.

Customers appreciate individual attention. Keep your best customers happy to maintain that long-term relationship.

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