Great sales reps nurture real relationships with their customers—but what happens when that relationship is severed?
I see it all the time. A sales rep leaves the company, for whatever reason, and customers start getting antsy. They seize the opportunity to look for a better or cheaper product elsewhere. Without that relationship in place, they feel no real allegiance to your business or brand.
You can’t always stop your sales reps from retiring or moving on, but you can stop your customers from leaving with them. Here are a few strategies I’d recommend.
How to Keep Your Customers on Board
- Make sure you have CRM software in place—and use it! Hopefully you’re already keeping customer data on file in your CRM platform. This is important because you can look back over customer histories to identify both your most loyal customers and—just as importantly—your most at-risk ones. The customers in this latter group are the ones you’ll most want to focus on, perhaps with some highly personal outreach.
- Connect with customers. I also suggest doing some “random” calls or visits with key customers—and again, I’d recommend starting with those in the at-risk group. Just extend them some friendliness and some personalized service. Let them know that the great relationship they’ve enjoyed with your company doesn’t have to be discontinued just because a certain sales rep moved on.
- Hold regular reviews. Another approach is to schedule routine reviews with your best customers—at least once every six months, and maybe even once a quarter. Just take some time to chat with them about what they like and what they dislike about your company. Take their feedback and make sure they feel heard.
Facilitate Relationships at the Company Level
The bottom line? You can form relationships not just person-to-person, but company-to-customer. That’s invaluable for keeping your best customers on board, even if a particular rep moves on to greener pastures.
Dr. Rick Goodman is known for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems and solutions that encourage engagement, resulting in increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micromanaging the process. His clients include Heineken, AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Franklin Templeton Investments.