Written by: Larry Levine | Selling From The Heart “Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.” - Kevin Stirtz
How many of you love your clients?Do they know you love them?Let me just say this... The experience you think you’re delivering to your clients
may not remotely resemble what they're actually experiencing.How many believe there's a lack of loyalty and trust brewing within their client base?Curious, how would you even know?Are you listening to the heartbeat of your current clients? If you want to understand and gauge what your clients really think of you then you must be willing to eat vulnerability for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When's the last time you stood in your clients shoes?When's the last time you looked at things through their eyes?We all know that success is built upon excellent client relationships. Why do so many in sales fail to nurture the clients they’ve already won? How well do you truly know your clients and how well do they know you?
A few years ago, IBM published a C-level research study
, based on interviews with more than 1,700 chief executive officers and leaders across the globe. The study indicated that over 70 percent of CEOs sought out a better understanding of individual customer needs. Two of their biggest challenges were learning how to engage with clients as individuals and gaining the insight to be able to do so.Imagine the outcome of the same study if those in sales management and in sales were asked the same set of questions?I'm going to throw it out there, I believe many in sales aren’t asking enough from their best clients.
CLIENT ENGAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT
Think about this one... how many of you ask your clients how things are going, only to get this response, "Fine"? My challenge to you is to peel back "fine". Is this a code for “Everything is not fine, but I really don’t want to talk about it?”Yes, it's work to get to know your clients. This is part of what you must do. The only way to determine their level of engagement is to invest in the relationship. Are you involved in generating new ideas with your clients?
Relationships are a two-way street, and if your clients aren't engaged then it's up to you to find ways to make this happen.Client engagement means to get emotional.
It's the human heartfelt
connection between you, your client and your brand. Highly engaged clients buy more from you, promote more of you, and demonstrate more loyalty. Providing a high-quality client experience is an important component in your engagement strategy
GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS
How well do you really understand what your largest clients want? Do you understand what they really desire? Are you even relevant in their eyes? Do you even know? How would you feel if you lost your largest account?
It sucks, it's painful, it's horrible and it happens. It's preventable but think about these two questions... How well do you really know your clients? How well do they know you?
If you truly want to get to know your clients and prospects then take the sales hat off, roll up your sleeves and engage in healthy conversation.Are you having meaningful conversations with your clients outside of the selling process?How many relationships are you developing and building inside your current account base?Are you opening up a real human conversation with your clients? It's about uncovering the conversation your client is having with themselves. In doing so this opens up honest communication as to what's really going on which provides you to engage in a win-win situation.If your client's don't feel like they're being heard and understood, they may withhold critical information as to where they really are or what they really feel about you. In turn, this may diminish or eliminate your ability to impact your future with them.
YOU THINK YOU KNOW YOUR CLIENTS
Egos rear its ugly head in sales. Let's set aside your ego, I would like for to think about your best client, got it... here's what I'm going to ask you to do... go face to face belly to belly with your best client and ask them this... What's the value I've been bringing to you and your business?
You can't say a word after you ask this question. If your best client without hesitation can't answer this question immediately then I'm here to tell you that you don't know them and they don't know you as well as you think. This means you have some work to do.
PERCEPTION IS REALITY
If I were to ask each and every one of you what your clients think about you, you would probably say something about them generally liking you, or they love you… after all, they're doing business with you. And you’d be right. But what if you’re not?
Understanding how your clients perceive you can be critical information in establishing your sales strategies and alignment
.We live in a digital age, where virtually everything is a Google search away. This makes what you do and the services you provide easier to find. On the flip side, your competition is easier to find as well. This means it’s easier for the unhappy, unsatisfied or "I'm just fine" client to leave.Your clients all have choices. They will continue to do business with you if you genuinely care about them, are truly interested in solving their problems and have their best interest at heart. How well are you aligned with your client's perception?
UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENTS BUSINESS
Creating true, authentic and appreciative relationships by spending informal time with your clients will help you to understand them and their businesses. In turn, they get to know you and what makes you tick.Get to know what’s important to them and their business; the return will far outweigh the investment.With all sincerity, when you get to know your clients inside and out, you can personalize the attention you give them. Do you really know what your clients think of you?
True leadership is your ability to affect change and influence people inside your current accounts.The more you can lead with a servant mindset the better off you'll be in the long run. Your goal is to be seen as a trusted adviser. When your input is greatly appreciated, it’s less likely they'll engage with your competition. Stop taking your clients for granted. How well do your clients know you?
YOUR HEART MUST BE AT THE CENTER
Are you really giving your clients what they value more effectively than your competitors?Are you bringing your heart to help your clients do better business?When you sincerely and deeply understand your clients this will open the door to more creative solutions. This becomes huge stepping stones to a synergistic and profitable partnership. How well do your clients really know you?
Your clients are the lifeblood to your success. No clients, no business. Lead with a servant mindset and heart. I promise this will be bring about a positive change. Focus on their success not your success
Meaningful and credible relationships do matter! Discover the power of relational selling at Selling From the Heart.
Be on the lookout for upcoming webinars, training workshops and coaching programs around how to prevent all of this from happening.