Love is in the air.
With Valentine's Day just passing us by, I figure a little love story is fitting.
This past week was pretty incredible. My kids were in Toronto for a whole week with their Aunt Holly. My wife and I were transported back to those days before kids. Every day we went to the gym together at 6 AM. After the day's work had ended, we enjoyed a glass of wine at one of our local restaurants. We finished off the week with Valentine's night out in Detroit.
It was a magical and beautiful way to spend Valentine's day week together.
The kids are back now, and that's also magical because we missed the heck out of our girls! As much as we loved our time together, we're so much happier to have them back. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.
But that's not always the case with our clients.
I've heard and witnessed numerous stories of companies losing their most valuable clients because they were too busy focusing on new customers.
One client told me the story of how their sales rep stopped by a client's facility only to find their top competitor doing a major job. When the sales rep asked why this was the case, there was no ill intent, and it was merely because the competitor happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Remember: Customer Loyalty is never owed. You can lose it just like that.
In this case, my client's client needed to get the work done, and someone else was there at the precise moment willing to do the job.
It's easy for the salesperson to hear that. It's easy for them to believe it.
And yet, it wouldn't have happened if the salesperson had a stronger relationship with the client, one where they reached out to ensure that they were doing everything the client needed.
We expect our clients to be loyal, but we need to be loyal to them.
If you want your prospects and customers to buy from you the first time, the fifth time, and the fiftieth time, there are three things you need to get right.
1) You need to stay top-of-mind. Some prospects are not ready to buy no matter how good your sales team is, and some existing customers will forget about you because your competitor was on their doorstep when you weren't. Case in point with the story above.
2) Next, you need to maintain consistent messaging. There's that word again – consistent.
You need effective sales and marketing processes before, during, and after the sale. But as related to #1, your messaging needs to be valuable, entertaining, and consistent.
If you're only showing up when you're looking to meet your Q1 quotas, you've already missed the boat.
In this case, I'm reminded of another specific example.
I was speaking to a group of Executives when one raised her hand and asked me the following question: "Why would we continue to spend time communicating and sending stuff to our existing customers in a tough economy (for our industry) when they don't have any money to spend right now?"
I'll let you consider your response to that ridiculous question.
3) Finally, you need a way to test, track, measure, and ensure your sales and marketing processes are being completed, and that the things you expect to be happening are happening.
I'm continually espousing the fact that you need a defined sales process for each stage of the buying cycle, and proper reporting to show you the right things are getting down.
Without a systematized process, it's virtually impossible to know where you need to improve, or where you're dropping the ball.
There are only a few things you need to get right, but they're nearly impossible to achieve if you don't have the right tools, processes, and procedures in place.
With or without any tools, coaching, consulting, or processes I might be able to provide, you can do this on your own by recognizing the three necessities listed above
Get these right and your organization will run smoother, your customers will be happier, and you'll be more profitable. It's hard to argue against that.
Here's your key challenge for this week:
Do Noah's Reverse Referral Test.
Have a third-party call a couple of your top clients and ask them for a referral.
Have them ask for a referral for something that's in your wheelhouse.
See if they refer you and your organization.
This is the type of challenge that's hard because the truth might be hard to swallow.
If you hear something that makes you cringe, it likely has nothing to do with the quality of your products and services, and almost everything to do with one the three things listed above.
If you've been reading the Tuesday Tidbits for any length of time, you know I've shared hundreds of great ways to measure your customer loyalty, improve your retention, and implement the simple but high-value processes that make all the difference.
I know it can be daunting to figure out which one is the most applicable to where you're at today, so I've set aside some times to do calls with Tidbit readers where I can help you find the areas that will have the biggest impact on your businesses.