Where does customer loyalty enter your sales strategy? Most sales cultures focus on higher compensation for new customer acquisition. That often leaves your existing customers as somewhat of an afterthought as you race to meet Q4, year-end sales quotas.
If your renewal scenario is based on shoving last year’s contract under your customers’ noses, with this year’s updated pricing, what type of customer experience are you offering? Please don’t wonder why your existing customer base greets you with skepticism. Please don’t wonder why it’s getting more difficult to schedule that renewal appointment.
I hope you don’t consider your renewal accounts as a passive income stream. Nothing is guaranteed, not even their loyalty.
Customer loyalty is risky business. Customer loyalty cannot be presumed. There are far too many sales folks out there trying to disrupt your sales efforts – whether for new business or renewal accounts.
Renewal business based on customer loyalty is valuable business to lose. Loyal customers make wonderful referral sources. They don’t tend to refer sales folks who only show up once a year, when it’s time to sign next year’s contract.
Creating customer loyalty isn’t emphasized enough by hungry sales cultures chasing first customers and new revenue sources.
Selling, based on a position of customer loyalty, takes time, patience, strategy and understanding of the how and why your customers make decisions. This strategy sounds like a lot of work to most sales folks.
Value creation based on customer loyalty creates a tremendous network you can leverage for leads generation. This strategy requires not only personal mastery of the sales process, but the ability to gain perspective of marketplace dynamics and financials. This strategy sounds like a lot of work to most sales folks.
Renewing loyal customer accounts incorporates value creation during an ongoing selling process. You are not always selling your stuff, you are not always closing. You always have your customers’ backs, because you are the go-to guy or gal for industry information and trigger events.
You are the person who can read all the dynamic business tea leaves and apply your sales insight towards the customer’s strategic benefit. This strategy sounds like a lot of work to most sales folks.
This strategy sounds a lot like how you are supposed to be building your sales acumen, across new business. Why shouldn’t your existing customer base benefit from the time and energy you put into acquiring new customers?
This strategy isn’t an either-or, new vs. existing customers scenario. Your time and energy are maximized by applying this mindset across all selling opportunities. Otherwise you are creating selling silos. I don’t think your existing customers would appreciate being segmented in this manner.
How will you incorporate creating customer loyalty into your selling strategy throughout the remainder of Q4? It might be a lot less work than you think, once you stop separating your new customer acquisition and renewal strategies.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to startups and small and mid-sized businesses. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business, is now available in eReader format!