It just could be that client retention folks are the best salespeople in your company. You know. Professionals involved in the post-sale care and feeding of newly-acquired customers. And the pros responsible for designing (and reworking) and implementing and maintaining what new and current clients ordered. Also, the people who directly answer client questions throughout that customer’s life cycle.
In effect, everyone who traditionally is not part of the client acquisition process. Including everyone who does not receive commission dollars (at all, or meager) for ensuring customer success.
The best (often uncompensated) salespeople in your company are your client retention folks.
First, these post-sale people offer clients insight into what’s next and what’s new in your company’s product, service, and system offerings. Perhaps in a salesperson’s rush to close a deal, they recommend what’s easiest to sell. But not what is the best, long-term solution for that client’s long-term business growth strategy. Client retention professionals course-correct clients. As a result, clients are loyal to your company: not because of a salesperson who may not even be around at renewal. But, because of the post-sale support continuum and new product innovation your company offers them.
Next, the post-sale pros create their own internal networks of go-to resources. The people who have the right answers to problem solving because these professionals think non-linearly and non-commission-based. As a result of these internal networks, the client retention folks tee up your client for renewal and retention. Often, without the salesperson being involved or aware of what’s going on, behind the scenes of that commission check.
The best salespeople in your organization make it their business to know who these client retention folks are.
Have you developed a network of go-to client retention pros within your organization? Or, do you continuously struggle with client churn during contract renewal? Alternatively, is your client base full of clients who re-order the one product they always re-order? Yet have not specified anything new in years. Just could be, you have a client retention problem.
The solution may not be “selling better” – at least by yourself. Your solution just may be selling to retain clients, in the first place. And to execute that strategy, try setting your horizon past the first sale. And identify who the best salespeople for client retention are in your organization. It’s about time.
- Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Engage Babette to present one of her One Millimeter Mindset ™ speaking programs, workshops or mastermind groups. Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact her here.
Babette Ten Haken is a card-carrying STEM professional and left-brain thinker specializing in cross-functional leadership, new product development and professional innovation. As an outside salesperson, guess what she specialized in? Year-over-year high rates of client retention. Babette leverages Voice of the Customer Market Research and Design-Driven Storytelling to translate across strategic communication and collaboration disconnects between people and professional disciplines. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs get everyone to where they need to go, together: one millimeter at a time. Build trust. Retain employees and clients. Her playbook of cross-functional tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. You can reach Babette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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