What Are Key Attributes of Long-term Customers?
Building a solid client roster to support your book of business shares many traits with a college football coach recruiting a student athlete to play for their team. The recruit needs to fit the gaps and needs of your team and the coach/college needs to be a solid match with the player’s educational and competitive expectations. Some of your most acclaimed recruits may not ever see the playing field if they aren’t aligned with your game plan and playbook.
Similarly, a new client may not renew with you for a long-term business relationship if you’re not synched up or the product or small, but significant details started falling through the cracks. To keep you and your clients on the same page, keep these four business behavior traits in mind when you’re on the hunt for new customers.
Customer Is Transparent About Their Immediate Needs
The prospects of a new client agreeing to a long-term business deal with you can depend on how well you understand what their immediate needs are. A good customer will be upfront about what they want from you and your product and won’t play games when it comes time to make the decision to buy with you or a competitor.
Customer Has A Vision For Next Year, 3 Years & 10 Years
It’s difficult for a sales professional to grow and meet their customers’ needs if the sales pro is in the dark on how the customer wants their company to evolve in the future. Of course, if the customer doesn’t know how it expects to keep up with trends and competitors, their company might be out of business, which makes selling to them extremely hard.
Customer Isn’t Afraid To Say No (Picks Their Battles)
Knowing when to push back is a two-way street in the sales pro/client relationship. There will always be sticking points in business deals that both sides can’t bend on, but contract negotiations also need to include compromises from each party in order to build trust and solve problems.
Customer Has A Strong Internal Support System (Knows How To Delegate)
Most successful businesses are built and thrive on teamwork. If one person is shouldering most of the load on your client’s team, then you only have that one person as your decision maker. That also limits your ability to influence other members of your client’s team to complete or expand a business deal. Your customer’s ability and trust in the art of delegation could directly affect your chances of succeeding and growing the client relationship.
There will always be a few under-performers in your client roster. But you can minimize the amount of customer calamities by studying their business behaviors closely before you decide whether they have long-term potential. That is a play that should be in any sales professionals game plan. If you’re looking for experienced assistance in developing your own professional sales behaviors, contact Stephanie Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Chung is an business coach, trainer and advisor backed by more than 25 years of executive team management, business development, and sales leadership experience. She counsels executives and small businesses in a diverse array of strategies and tactics and she is an expert in creating kick-butt salespeople.