…is the next one! Sounds obvious, but this flies in the face of an old sales adage: you’re only as good as your last call. Not so! While that previous call might have established or continued a positive customer relationship, this really offers no more than an ‘in’ for the next time.
Why that next call should be different
If a salesperson is making regular calls to established customers, then another saying should be front of mind. And it’s this: familiarity breeds contempt. However, this can be a bit harsh, so perhaps it should be adapted to: familiarity can breed indifference.
More of the same-old, same-old
There are many salespeople who are satisfied with a call to such a customer where the previous order is repeated. They measure this as a success – and it’s fair to say that, on occasions, this might be the best outcome that can be achieved. However, that isn’t the same as being in a comfort zone where this is simply the salesperson’s expectation.
Adding something new to a call
In the scenario just described, there can be a comfortable relationship between buyer and seller. Until, that is, another salesperson arrives on the scene behaving pro-actively. This individual is offering something new or different. This might be no more than paying proper attention to the client and their needs, rather than taking them for granted.
So, what might the something new be? It could be a product or service, or an improvement on what’s currently on offer. However, it might be no more than taking time to ask questions of the customer, to find out how their business – and therefore their needs – might have changed or be changing.
Changing expectations and outcomes
By the simple showing of interest, rather than just taking them for granted, a salesperson can move their relationship up a notch with regular, or infrequent, customers. Even for a first-time call, the level of genuine interest shown can be a game-changer! Author Maya Angelou said it well when she suggested that “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”