On a recent course for a field sales team, we discussed the idea of the best ways to build up the decision-making unit within your customers’ accounts. It is important to build relationships with as many people as you reasonably can. Otherwise you’re vulnerable. One day the person who you’ve dealt with for years and who you get on well with leaves. Suddenly that large spending account is open to competition. Worse still, a new decision-maker may have their own ideas about who they want to deal with. In order to create an impression, they change trading relationships for the sake of it seemingly. Unfair perhaps, but it happens!
There are other reasons too of course. You are more likely to win friends and influence others if you chat to them, and take an interest in them and what they do. Often other people who are a part of the decision-making unit, such as users can give you the inside track. They can tell you how they’re getting on using your products, or organisational changes within the company. This can only ever help. We discussed some specific ideas.
- Follow-up strategies after a sales visit
- Define your objective
- Do it quickly
- Have alternative methods of communication lined up
- We all respect effort, promptness and professionalism (so be quick)
- Everyone should be in a permanent contact loop
- Proactive contact strategy determined by CRM
- Identifying primary, secondary & tertiary contacts
- Work out who does what and obtain job titles
- Store information on as many contacts as possible
- You’re on LinkedIn right?
- Take advantage of opportunities to get to know other people in the team
Always take the opportunity to meet other people within their company where the opportunity presents itself. Chat to them, ask them questions. Take an interest.
Keep their details logged on your CRM system to include e-mail addresses and contact numbers. You never know when you’ll need them.
Finally if you do have a good contact and they leave, this should be a double opportunity. You follow them to where they go next. You also work hard to retain your position as the main supplier to the existing account. So in an ideal world one account splits and becomes two.
To help with this and other account management issues, talk to us at To Market. We conduct training across the Midlands including Leicester, Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Nottingham, Derby, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Cambridge, Newmarket, Birmingham, Coventry, Daventry, Rugby, Hinckley, Nuneaton as well as wider parts of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Please phone 01858 461148 or e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org