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Stop Customers from Fading Away


Suddenly you have lost your client to a competitor. Before it happens - watch for the warning signs that your customer may be fading away.

Appointments are being postponed. You thought everything was scheduled. You prepared correctly. You kept in mind all of those important strategies. Suddenly, the meeting is called off. When you call back to reschedule the meeting, they don’t seem anxious to reschedule. What happened?

Your key client ally is no longer in your corner. You counted on them to keep you informed, to introduce you to key players and to counteract any adversarial decision-makers. Suddenly the door is closed and phone calls go unreturned. You can’t get in touch with your key person. Have they been reassigned? Did you do something wrong?

Inside information has become harder to get. You sense you are being cut out of the loop. You are no longer a partner. You are no longer being consulted for input. Without information, you are at a standstill. What happened? Don’t they trust you anymore?

Recently you have heard last minute price objections. Why? You have no idea but you can bet that your competitors have something to do with it. Have you missed something? Did they take your proposal and shop around? Have they forgotten your good service and quality of product?

Find that ticking bomb!

“The way to get rid of a bomb is to diffuse it before it blows.” David H. Sandler

If your client is fading away, it is time for damage control!

Some tips and tactics for client retention:

Test your current status. Let your client know you appreciate the business; ask whether you are meeting their expectations. Have you ever asked a client, “What would be the reasons that you would quit doing business with me?” or “What are the best reasons that you can think of to keep doing business with me?” Clients go away because of a lack of strokes. Let your clients know how important they are to you. Do this through frequent, short communications; thank you notes, compliments, and fuzzy notes that might include articles of interest to the client.

Visit other client contacts. Discover whether changes are happening that might cause your ally to distance him/herself from you - always be looking for a bomb. Don’t depend on just one person in your client’s company. Get to know the people around your client, their boss, their secretary, and their colleagues. Find out what is happening in the company from a number of different sources. Then, respond proactively. Meet any situation head-on. Don’t let a small issue grow into a big problem.

Reassess the needs. Constantly reassess the needs of all those who you work within the client’s business to assure both the old and the new needs are being met. Needs change within a company. Unmet needs become a bomb. We often get comfortable with our client’s needs. We discontinue our investigations that would lead to discoveries of reasons to solidify our present business and find even more business with our present client. Look for new needs on every call.

Help your clients grow their business. Exchange referrals with your client. Give them business referrals to help them resolve needs that are outside your scope. Make yourself more valuable to your client than merely a provider of products or services. Become an asset to their business. Become someone they depend on for information and advice.

Paint a clear picture of the future and your involvement. Understand the direction your client is going and what part you will play in your client’s future. Always leave your client with a clear understanding of what will happen next - when you will be back and what services you will provide. Promise only what you can deliver. Better yet, under promise and over deliver. Keep your client looking forward to your return.

Closing the sale is only the beginning of the relationship. Work as hard to keep the relationship as you did to establish the relationship. If your client fires you, it is generally because you are inattentive to them.

Contact us for more tips and tactics to grow your business.

Dave Fischer, President, Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group

Dave Fischer, President, Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group

Sandler Training NYC