When things are going well, the clients are happy and quotas are being met.
When the client relationships are good, you seem to be getting more than your share of the business.
That is exactly when, as salespeople, we need to be worrying about “complacency”. It is just too easy to slip into a comfort zone and keep doing what we have been doing, expecting with some good reasoning that the same results will keep coming.
Why would we do anything different?
It is hard to change.
Why mess with something that is working?
Well here are a few reasons that you should think about:
1. There is a shift in the economy that impacts your clients, and it can happen very quickly. Suddenly budgets are being cut, suppliers who are not canned are squeezed and generally the world is no longer looking rosy!
2. A new boss arrives at your client. Maybe they have preferred relationships from their previous role, maybe they just want to change things up but before you know it things have changed. You might get to re-compete the business or you might just be “outa there”!
3. Your key contact at the client moves role, quits, retires or otherwise moves out of the role of decision maker. Perhaps the new person prefers another supplier, or just doesn’t know you. Either way your position just changed for the worse in a hurry.
4. Maybe your company messes up, and the client decides to find another supplier.
5. Maybe your client company gets bought.
There are lots of things that can go wrong in sales … so there is never a time to be in the comfort zone.
Some thoughts for all salespeople:
1. Yes, celebrate your wins … just don’t take long because you have work to do!
2. The comfort zone is one of the most dangerous places you can be.
3. You can never have enough contacts … get out and meet people.
4. You need to diversify your contacts in all of your client accounts. Never be dependent upon one person.
5. You need to diversify your accounts so that you are not too dependent upon one account. (Sometimes with very large accounts this might mean having business with multiple departments within the client account).
6. Business intelligence is very important, so when chatting with your key contacts about the baseball game, their golf handicap or all those other important things don’t forget to ask about the business! What is new? What is happening? Who else could you meet? Any rumors circulating? etc
7. Don’t forget to be nice to the people who pay your bills, the people who write your contracts, the admin assistants who you deal with and all those other people who can affect your success in an account. I’ve seen more than one salesperson undone by ignoring the important people they referred to as “the little people”!
8. If you are tempted to cut your day short because your client meeting was at 3pm out near your home remember that your competition are working.
9. To be successful you need to use your time wisely, so invest in yourself. Take sales courses, practice great time management and bring value to your clients with your knowledge.
10. Always keep your sales momentum going … because if you lose momentum it becomes so much harder to get it back. (If you have been there you will know what I mean.)
Kevin Dee is the Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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