It’s great to gain and regain new clients but not at the expense of losing the great clients you already have. My approach to Sales and Marketing is that we have 4 main strategies. They are Retain, Develop, Regain and Gain.
In this blog article I will address the Retention (Retain) strategies, tactics and actions that you can apply with those very important AAA, AA, A Clients (Platinum). The blog article is done in bullet form to make it fast and easy to understand. We will start with the description of what a Retain Strategy is.
- Most likely we would have a large share of the “Client’s Wallet”. (We are the supplier of choice)
- The relationship would most likely be at the “Commitment” and/or “Unity” Stage
- We should be dedicating sufficient energy to retaining the level of business we are receiving, looking for opportunities to increase the amount and share, as well as minimising the competition’s share (High barrier to entry)
Retain Strategies / Tactics / Actions
- Be pro-active by anticipating and bringing in-depth cost savings and business building solutions to them before they see the need
- Take a leadership role and be seen as a useful and resourceful partner to them
- Avoid taking the Client and their personnel for granted, continue to “romance them”
- Look for ways to give them special treatment and incentives for their continued loyalty (utilise appropriate governance)
- Be alert to any issues that could deteriorate the relationship and act quickly with all parties involved (Slow Delivery, Conflict with credit, etc.)
- Be alert to any changes with the Decision Makers, Influencers and Key People. Implement needed actions.
- Make them part of all VIP functions, especially if they are AAA, AA, A Retain Clients.
- Utilise frequency of contact at all levels of the Client Organisation.
- With permission, carefully utilize the Client as a reference and show appreciation for that help
- Jointly with their team and our team develop valuable “win-win” strategies and solutions “value propositions” for both organisations and individuals within the organisations
- Seek out new markets and innovative new products and new solutions in partnership with them
Retain Risk List
At every sales meeting discuss who may be on the “Risk List” because of one or more of the following situations that may have taken place. Then put an action plan together.
- Personality clash with the Sales Representative or another staff member or management person
- Poor service…slow turnaround on quotes, delivery or broken promises, etc.
- Competitors are aggressively pursuing them
- Poorly turned down on an important quote…we cannot handle, cannot extend more credit, etc.
- Showing continual unhappiness with our quotes and prices.
- Hasn’t been visited for quite some time
- Change in their management
- Change in our sales representative who services them
- Not enough personal attention
- Political differences between our companies
“If A Competitor Has One Of These Situations With A Client, It Is An Opportunity To Gain Some Business”
Watch for my next blog article on the Develop Strategies, Tactics and Actions that you can apply to clients where you have a small share of their business although there is lots of room to develop them into a large Retain Client.
The foundation of this blog article comes from Module 1 – Targeting The Right Clients of Bill Gibson’s 25 Module Complete Sales Action System.