Key to Sales Retention

In the years that I’ve been selling business to business services I’ve found there are 2 main ways why clients come back repetitively.

They are:

1. Trust

2. Like-ability

Let’s talk about Trust. A client has to trust that a sales representative has their best interest at heart. The client needs to trust that you can see the bigger picture and you understand that your service or product is going to enhance the business.

In order to get a client to trust you, you need to start asking questions about them and what they are responsible for at the company. Some examples of these questions are:

  • What are your day to day responsibilities?
  • What is your role in ensuring this product is built the best it can be?
  • What are the specific products your team works on? How many does the company build? What are they?
  • How many other locations are there? Do you support other facilities?
  • How big is your organization? What other departments do you work with?
  • What is the biggest industry challenge your team or company faces?
  • What is the company culture there and is specialized language for projects/departments?

These starter questions will help you paint a picture of how the manager contributes to the company. These questions will also start to open up your eyes on where your service or ideas can fit into their company culture.

I find when I talk to a client about their day to day activities the conversation starts to warm up and I become more comfortable. This allows me to casually drop hints about my service and how it will benefit the manager’s projects and company.

Next is Like-ability. How do we get our clients to like us? One way is get to know them. Ask them questions about the above topics. Find out their opinion on different industry topics. Ask their advice about a new technology or help with a similar client. These gestures can make the client feel as if they are also helping you.

Also, finding common ground works. What type of activities do they like to do out of work? Do they like sports? Anything to open up a conversation.

My preference is taking about industry and company knowledge to gain a client’s trust. I find that clients are more receptive to industry talk because it stays business focused. Then I can always interject about the product I sell and how it relates to their industry.

Always remember that the 2 main reasons why clients work with sales reps repetitively is because they like them and they trust them. What can you do today to gain credibility with your client?