10 Reasons You Should Focus on the Client, not the Sale

The only way to remain in business or with a sales job is to encourage client loyalty. Otherwise, the non-ending prospecting gets very old. Even worse is the statistic that top producers only earn 25% of all of their possibilities, and the other viewpoint is they lose 75%. Unless developing a long term relationship that builds client loyalty is the first goal, one may as well stop now and find another line of work.

Upon placing an order on Amazon, I was taken by surprise with the email that followed. The provider and the sender of the email also happens to be the Co-Founder of the company. Her tone in the email was friendly and thoughtful.

In an orderly fashion, the message included:

  • Thank you
  • Asked for feedback and suggestions.
  • Let me know email goes directly to her inbox (no intermediary involved)
  • Mentioned that it’s important that I’m happy with the purchase
  • Communicated that feedback helps to understand client needs and improve the product line.
  • Informed me if there is any difficulty with the order, a response will be mine within 24 hours.
  • The message ended with ‘Thank you in advance for your time!’
  • Reviewing the message, I realized the Co-Founder is selling to me exactly as I would sell to my clientele. My response was to thank the Co-Founder for the email to say it was appreciated.

    I then began to think about the many suppliers on Amazon who list themselves in the same category. Standing out from the crowd is difficult enough. But the ability to encourage communication among hurried clientele is almost an art form and one to be rewarded. There is no doubt I will be re-ordering from this company when my supply runs low.

    Related: Think Before You Speak and Avoid Apologies Altogether

    High-End Corporate Sales

    Top performing salespeople in the corporate arena operate very similarly as described above. Those of you newer to the profession, be aware that there is too much stress to begin anew, every month, with the attempt to fill the sales pipeline. Management compounds the anxiety by hounding their team members mid-month as to where they stand for making quota by month-end.

    If you are determined to remain in your sales career and also retain good health, the best approach is to build trust and relationships with each client upfront. Anxiety diminishes as you enjoy more of the conversations with clientele and the business climate proves to be everything you hope. Strengthening the relationship is the ongoing task throughout all of your dealings to encourage continued sales.

    Suggestions for continuing the conversations include the idea of varying your communication style to keep the recipient engaged. People appreciate the old fashioned thank-you notes in addition to email, e-video, and phone calls. On occasion treat your best clients to lunch to have a relaxed conversation without business attached. The results will be your proof that all of the above works well.

    Are you satisfied with the processes you have in place for business development and fermenting relationships with clientele? Review your sales over the past six months to determine how much of it was continued new business as compared to repeat customers. Starting out, the new clients will far outweigh the repeat sales, but as time moves forward, the opposite should occur.

    Do you:

  • Pay attention to the small details
  • Follow up on requests in a timely fashion
  • Check in for satisfaction and resolve issues quickly?
  • When you focus on the needs of your audience instead of the initial sale and serve your clients well, you see a return of big dividends including alleviating stress. And should you take your better clients out for a meal, get their feedback on where they see possible improvement ahead. You just might gain new ideas for leveraging what is in place and recognize additional services to add to the mix. As you can see, loyalty becomes a two-way street that makes the entire effort well-worthwhile!

    Sales Tips

  • Focus on your client, not the sale.
  • Excel in customer service, follow-through, and follow-up.
  • Ask for the satisfaction level of your clientele.
  • Inquire as to where clients believe improvement is in order.
  • Check client websites and industry news before each meeting.
  • At the start of each session ask for company updates.
  • Share what you read and clarify any item not fully understood.
  • Vary communication to keep the engagement interesting.
  • Always express appreciation for one’s time and business, too.
  • Celebrate Success!