I am optimistic for Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss after reading about them hiring Bill Braxton as Director of Client Development. Dedicating sales talent to a market segment that is in the company’s core skill set but which has not received adequate focus is often a fast track to new clients. It’s always exciting to have an influx of new client accounts at an organization because it presents fresh opportunities to leverage your expertise to overcome new challenges. However, it’s important that the excitement of new accounts doesn’t undermine the fundamentals of starting a valuable working relationship with the new client. The sales team is responsible for a seamless transition from closing a sale to providing superior customer service.
The worst experience a new client can have is feeling like they were important as a prospect but just a number as a client. Incorporate the following four simple gestures into your interactions with new clients to ensure they feel even more valuable as a client than they did as a prospect.
Quick Response Times. If a new client reaches out to you via email or by phone and doesn't hear back in a timely manner, she's going to get the impression that she isn’t an important client. Many businesses get so caught up in prospecting that they forget about common sense customer service practices. Endeavor to return a phone call or respond to an email in 24 hours or less.
Give the Gift of Time. The quickest way to lose a new client is to make them feel rushed. Conversely, you can quickly cement a solid relationship with a new client by taking the time to talk with and listen to them. As a busy salesperson working toward greater business success, extra time can be a hot commodity. Build extra time into your schedule when you know that you'll be speaking or meeting with new clients.
Learn About Your Clients. Once you've gained a new customer, winning their business over the competition, the next step is to learn more about them and their needs and likes Get to know your client as a person; this can actually help you serve their business needs more efficiently and effectively.
Be Genuine. Phony friendliness and a half-hearted show of interest might slip under the radar when prospecting for clients. But once a client spends more time talking and working with you, she'll notice disingenuous behavior right away. Be genuine, be real, don't make promises you can't keep or say things you don't mean. Once clients catch on you'll lose credibility and trust, followed by the loss of their business.
Social media and online marketing have quickly become the gold standard for prospecting. Ninety percent of top performing salespeople utilize social media as part of their approach.