It’s good your customer is moving on – here’s why
It’s good your customer is moving on – here’s why.
It may seem a tragedy when your usual or regular contact moves on from your good regular client. Suddenly all your investment in that personal relationship, not forgetting all that sales volume is in jeopardy. And you’re right to be concerned. As I’ve written elsewhere I believe the single biggest determinant of whether you will win business with somebody is that personal relationship. It’s not the size of the prospect, or the application, or the quality of your products. Quite simply, if they like you, they’ll want to trade with you, and if they don’t like you they’ll go out of their way not to buy from you.
However, you now have chances of having 2 customers in the future. I assume that because you’re a good salesperson, you’ve developed good relationships with other contacts in the company. You have, haven’t you? Consequently, you have one company that is used to dealing with you and your company’s products or services. They’ve got used to the personnel in your company, they understand your payment terms. For them to change supplier represents risk – “better the devil you know” is a common phrase. You become the easy choice now that the current contact is moving on. So if you’ve looked after the customer account well, you should be well positioned to keep the business.
Now the additional opportunity. Remember it was the individual who bought from you initially. You’ve been in regular contact and so you’ve built up a good trading relationship with them as a fellow human. Simply ask them where they are moving to, wish them well (a card may even be appropriate) and ask if you can keep in touch. Connecting with them on LinkedIn too is a great way of maintaining contact. You do this as a personal thing. “I’m sorry you’re moving on, but I appreciate the business you’ve given me over the last xx years or months. And I’d be interested to hear how you settle in at ABC Widgets. Would it be ok if I keep in touch?” They’re hardly likely to say ‘No’ are they? Bearing in mind that over 90% who make a job move stay in the same type of role or function, you’ve now got 2 potential customers haven’t you?
One person now becomes 2 prospects – as it were. Contact them a few weeks after they move, to ask how they’re settling in, and chances are they will appreciate you thinking of them. And if they’re in a similar role to their old one, your conversation will naturally lead on to what you both have in common. Seamless, natural and easy to create 2 trading prospects out of one customer.
To Market runs telephone sales and telemarketing courses across the East and West Midlands. This includes Leicester, Northampton, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby, Newmarket, Cambridge, St. Ives, Bury St. Edmunds, Peterborough, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Solihull, Lichfield, Coventry, Rugby, Birmingham and wider parts of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
originally posted 30th March 2012.