Kay asks, “How do we carry on the conversation with an individual after they’ve bought from us?”
The easiest way to keep a conversation going is, and this is why it’s so important to use your CRM … Agh! CRM system, the thing that most salespeople dread.
But this why a CRM system is so important, that you log all the information, all the insights, everything you learn about them, because after they’ve become a customer of yours, you then want to come back and begin playing back to them again all these insights that they shared with you, every one of them. And you do this through additional phone calls, additional emails, additional pieces. But it’s the easiest way to keep the relationship going, and as you keep the relationship going, new opportunities will uncover. I’ll share with you a very simple situation from my own … and I dropped … I dropped the ball.
I did some work with a client about a year ago, great work, they loved it, and for one reason or another, I just fell out of … I just didn’t do a good job of keeping in touch with them, like I normally do. And now I’m coming back, I want to get some more business from them. I know I can help them because they’re having an issue that I know I can help them with, but I’m having to kind of reseed the field, so to speak, because, unfortunately, I didn’t grow enough value, long-term for them, after the initial sale.
Bring value. Bring something that they care about, an update. I’m sure they want a feature put into the product. I’m sure they want to be introduced to the product manager. I’m sure that their leaders want to meet your leaders, that they might want to do co-marketing, that there’s so many things that you could do if you think of each other as partners. Once you become part of the same tribe, the same team, working on the same objective, you change the whole relationship.
To continue the conversation after the sale, ultimately you want to be able to leverage every account that you have, and to leverage an account means that you can use it to generate new business with others. To leverage it means that you might be able to cross-sell within that account to other departments, to other groups, to other divisions, to other people in that account.
So, it’s important to stay in touch, and your primary reason for staying in touch is to make sure that they’re happy, their company, with you, so you can ask those kinds of questions, but you always want to ask what you could do better. “What can I do better to help you get the most out of the work you’re doing with me and my company?” And, when it’s clear that they’re very happy, that’s when you can begin to leverage the account.
Well, I think one thing that enough people don’t do is they don’t actually pick up the phone and cold call existing customers and just check in on them. You don’t understand how nice it is to have someone call and be, like, “Hey, I just wanted to make sure everything’s working great for you guys.” Don’t wait until Rome’s on fire for them to reach out to support, and then have you jump in and save the day. If you’re proactively reaching out to people every day, you’ll build a pipeline just from that.
I know account executives that I’ve worked with at previous companies, and everywhere that have literally built pipeline just working their existing customers that they have relationships with. And the reason that they’re able to do that is because they would proactively check in on people. They would just do a call and catch up and shoot the shit, or, shoot the … I don’t know that I can swear, actually, but, whatever … You know, just, yeah, shoot the shit.
You know, I think it’s common to not want to follow up, because you’ve got the money, now run, because, you know, you don’t want to experience refunds, you don’t want to hear about all the customer’s problems, but these are great opportunities to deepen your relationship further.
Personally, I’d send a letter. I’d write to them and say, “Hey, I hope you really enjoyed the product. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.”
But, if you really wanted to go the extra mile, invite them to something. They may come, or they may not, but, if you can move that person out of the dynamic of the existing relationship you have, in other words, they’re your client and you’re their salesperson, and you move them to a completely different relationship of, “Let’s go for a round of golf,” or, “Let’s go and catch a movie,” it may feel bit weird doing it, but that is how you create friendships. You meet people in lots of different backgrounds, lots of different experiences, so offer to take them for lunch, if the account’s big enough. Once you get them out of that office, your dynamic with them will change, and your business will grow.