3 Quick Tips On Building Long Term Client Relationships

Customer retentionWhenever we discuss salespeople’s skill-sets and the development of such, we always get round to the power of building relationships and the long-term benefits of maintaining and sustaining the connections with clients.

The value of doing so has been covered many times, and it is always advantageous to revisit the reasons why these long-term networks can improve profitability and productivity alike.

While we know it’s important to keep these relationships going, how do we start them in the first place? What can we do to preserve the relationship and build trust so that the sales just keep on coming?

Here are three of the best tips for this:

Identify what you customer wants from you that will support their long-term goals

Very often, we concentrate on how we can sell more to customers through improved quality of products or offering discounts for multiple sales and the like. However, it might be that the customer needs more specific areas of support in maintaining their business interests with their customers.

Here, you would be better off looking at how you can support their efforts and long-term goals by identifying the level of service they require from you to accommodate the increase in performance they are requiring. So ask questions like, “What can I do for you that will improve your productivity with your customers? How can we support your marketing or sales efforts so that it is easier for you to break into new markets?”

The more assistance you give to clients that helps them achieve their goals, the more likely it will be that their improved results will be down to you. Hence, they’ll associate you with their success in the future.

Build up a network of supporters within the customer’s business

If you are only talking to the buyer or the person responsible for making final decisions, you run the risk of being held ransom whenever there’s a need for changes. That one person may hold all the purse-strings or they may be the only decision-maker that has the power to use your services.

It’s much better to get to know others within the business, networking with them to see what other people’s goals are in working with a supplier. You are then able to spread your influence throughout the company, rather than putting all your proverbial eggs in the one basket.

Determine who would be the best contact in accounts. Identify who in production would be an ally of yours. Seek out the best person in the marketing department who will be your friend when it comes to building relationships at a sales level.

The more you spread the word around the company about your usefulness, the less likely it is for one person to make or break your relationships.

Make the customer more profitable using your company than not using you (and prove it!)

It may be beneficial for a customer to buy from you when you discount your products once. But if you want to maintain business, you need to prove how your products and services are actually affecting their results.

If you sell photocopiers, you need to prove how much extra savings your thousands of copies are actually making them over competitors’ solutions.

If you are selling consulting services, you need to prove the value of your services and build your reputation on what future opportunities might occur when using you.

Building reasons why the customer or their business is better off using you gives compelling reasons for them to use you again and again. Repetition is the key to gaining further business, so create chances to prove how your services are improving results, in whatever ways are important for the customer.

By identifying what you can do to activate the ‘repeat-business’ switch in your buyer’s mind, you are building reasons for them to stay with you and increase opportunities to maintain the account for the long-term.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

How To Improve Your Lead Engagement Process

Engage leadsThere’s more to lead generation than just cold calling.

Nowadays most companies have an inside sales team of some sorts that react to incoming calls and other engagement opportunities.

In today’s world, it’s necessary for you to combine your outgoing strategic prospecting with identifying ways to engage with people who are providing you with incoming leads.

It’s the engagement of the lead that should determine the time, effort and creativity you put into dealing with it. The more engaged the prospect is with your company, the greater the chances of helping them learn how you can help their business.

Examples of this engagement could include:

  • They visit your website and make an enquiry

A quick response to this kind of engagement will set the expectations of the prospect. If you can get back to them while they are still on your website then even better!

  • They opened your unsolicited email

The research shows that the percentage of people who open these emails is in single figures, so they may be the ones who are really interested or curious. A straightforward ‘thanks for your interest’ email back may open up some more opportunities, then a follow-up with ‘we have helped companies like yours, so maybe we can help you too’ might open up a few more.

  • They typed in a relevant key phrase for your business into social media

This will help you to detect proactively what they are looking for. A simple question on social media may well lead to something more, especially if you responded in a friendly manner rather than just making a sales pitch. Something like ‘Hey there, if you want to know more about this xxx, just let me know’ won’t put any pressure on; it may be the answer they were looking for.

  • Someone may mention your company on social media

Whether it’s good or bad news, it is a prospective customer who made the link. If it’s because of a bad experience, being able to turn it round quickly could make a real difference to their future buying process. If it’s a good mention, it’s an idea to thank that person and see if there’s any way you can encourage them to look further at your company

  • They might be following your company, you or your Chief Exec on Twitter

What a great way to show your ability to assist them in knowledge or background of your company or products. No need to do overt selling; just add valuable information to the twitter feed so they feel you are interested in them, rather than just trying to get their money

  • They might request to link up with you on LinkedIn

Always, always thank them for their request and ask how you could be helpful in the future to them. The fact they have requested to link up with you rather than the other way round, shows a definite interest in wanting to stay in touch. Don’t just jump in after connecting with a brochure-type sales pitch; instead, send them items of value for their industry or their specific company. That way, you will show them it was a good idea to link up and it won’t run the risk of being just another dead number in your LinkedIn profile

  • They download one of your eBooks, comment on your blog or like your Facebook page

These are great opportunities to build your prospect base. Thank the person as soon as you see it. Identify the level they work at within their company. See what else you have that might be of interest to them. Their response will have been for some ‘stand-out’ reason, so it will be effective to follow up their interest.

As I said, you need to check out the level of engagement the prospect has with you.

Remember, these are incoming leads from people who have expressed some kind of interest in you or your products and have done something pro-active to tell you as such.

These kind of leads will outweigh any cold-calling leads any day, so make sure your systems allow you to find out about and follow-up on these leads of gold.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)

The 23 Word Email To Shake Up Stale Deals – Infographic

sales man no leadsWe’ve all been there before – those deals that have gone all stale and quiet.

It can’t be a coincidence that every time you call the once keen prospect – they’re away from their desk, on another line or in meetings!

You’ve called and emailed to the point where any more would deem you a pest!

So, how do you re-engage with these prospects?

Below, the infographic ‘The 23 Word Email To Shake Up Stale Deals’ highlights exactly that! This 23 word email is ideal for re-engaging and igniting those stale deals!

Stale Deal Infographic


Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)


Is Sales The Best Job In The World?

Best job in the worldOne of my clients was discussing with me a few weeks ago how the attitude of salespeople has changed over the years.

He now employs a lot of ‘millenials’ in his business and has recently noticed how they have become a lot more negative in their endevours.

My client mentioned that one salesperson had remarked how he wouldn’t have chosen sales as a career if he’d known how hard it was going to be.

Whether you agree with that mindset or not, it’s natural at times to reflect on whether your career is taking you in the direction you want your life to go.

It set me thinking on why I got involved in sales and made me contemplate the difference we make in people’s and business’s lives and results.

I believe that we work in one of the best careers in the world, and here’s why:

“Salespeople create opportunities for growth and profits in business”

When done honestly, with integrity and in the right manner, salespeople can change business’s futures by creating opportunities for advancement and increasing production or profitability. We have the power to change a company’s direction of operation and improve their employees’ lives

“Salespeople get to meet a wide variety of people in different industries”

In sales, no two days are the same, as we meet various people with differing needs and a variety of demands. Yes, it can be challenging to have to deal with prospects whose demands are outside our control or scope of fulfillment. But when we are able to deal with the opportunities that present themselves, we can create a whole new world for our customers and clients

“Sales offers tremendous opportunities for growth and development of careers”

Every career has its chances for promotions and developing of skills, but in sales, it’s possible to make a career out of just that one job without the need for advancement into management or the like. A skilled salesperson can make a very good living by creating advancements in technology or improving other company’s profits so their commissions and bonuses can give them a good standard of living.

“Sales offers the chance to act as ‘self-employed’ to bring the best out of your skills”

Few jobs allow you to tap into your potential to be the best and have so much control over your earnings. Having the mindset of being self-employed allows you to create your own agendas, search for your own prospects, build your own list of priorities and create your own long-term relationships. Although your employer may actually pay you a salary, your viewpoint of employing yourself gives you freedom and opportunities few others can match

“In sales, your attitude and aptitude with determine your altitude”

It’s one of the few careers where your success can be determined by how well you administrate your processes and control your progress. By having the right attitude towards success and building your business acumen, you build a career that offers so much potential to hit the heights.

So, when my client reflects on the kind of people he employs, maybe there will be the chance to review how the job could, if approached in the right manner, actually be one of those that brings a great lifestyle, a positive outlook and a career that offers so many chances for development.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)


How To Overcome 3 Main Limiting Beliefs In Sales

iStock_000013904313Large (1)I remember seeing a psychologist on TV talking about how he worked with people on how to change their lives for the better. He succeeded with some people and had not such big success with others.

When asked what made the real difference and what caused them, he said it really boils down to the belief system of the individual.

That is, if they actually believe they can succeed, they will create reasons to do so and will see those successes as the norm. Less successful people will find reasons why they can’t succeed and they become self-fulfilling prophecies.

That’s not to say they deliberately set out to fail; it’s just that the belief system people have will dictate how much focus they put on certain elements that contribute to success or failure.

Certain beliefs that we salespeople share can make or break sales opportunities and here’s my take on just three of them that can have detrimental effects on how we fare in sales situations.

  • ‘I believe that the prospect is only interested in price.’

This will make us focus on the actual purchase price of our products and services, the upfront outlay that the prospect has to make to gain access to our stuff. As we’ve said on many occasions, the prospect may judge the product on its price but it will judge its success on the results they achieve with it.

A friend of mine told me how he had bought a cheap mattress for him and his wife. He thought he had a good deal, but after a relatively short time he realised he wasn’t getting the quality sleep he needed to be alert and fully functioning. Persuaded by his wife, he spend a relatively high amount on a quality mattress and enjoyed better sleep than he ever had in his life.

If we believe prospects only focus on price, that is where our attention will be also, and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, change that to a belief that prospects will pay what they believe supports their future goals and opportunities.

A ‘price-only’ belief will can only lead you to the path of discounts and will ultimately destroy many sales opportunities that existed but faded in the light of price.

  • ‘I believe I don’t need to be up-to-date with technological advancements.’

I’ve spoken to many salespeople recently about how they keep abreast of new ideas and what they do to keep their prospects aware of new developments, and a lot of them stare back sheepishly. Technological advances as the norm today, and unless we keep up with the advancements, we will be left behind those salespeople who use what is available to advance their success with customers.

Believe that technology is your friend and you’ll find you can use it effectively to keep up-to-date with what customers want from you and your company. Search new apps that are available to help you achieve more with your time. Identify what advancements your potential future prospects are using and get acquainted with it. When you hear someone mention a specific new product or service, seek out how you could use it to become more effective.

Change is the only constant, so unless you keep on top of it, it will crush you and leave you behind on the road of broken potential.

  • ‘I believe my career progression is up to others.’

Many salespeople think the only time they can learn new things is when their manager sends them on a course or has the time to coach them. They want someone to tell them what to do and how to do it better.

This will always limit your potential. It stunts any growth you could make because you are placing your development opportunities in the hands of other people.

You need to have a planned development programme yourself, so any outside, extra training and coaching adds to what you have learned yourself. Get hold of downloads that speak specifically about improving sales skills. Adopt the attitude that you are effectively the only person interested in your career progression. Have the belief that ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’ and identify the many chances to increase your knowledge about you chosen profession.

Believing you know everything you need to know and not taking improving your knowledge seriously will put you on the slippery slope where you’ll end up blaming others for your results rather than taking full responsibility for what you do and how you do it.

These three beliefs will always insidiously affect the way you perform, so be aware of what you say to yourself and how those beliefs can impact the way you approach you job and your career.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image courtesy of dollarphotoclub)