We know that when it comes to business, relationships matter. So what happens when the person you’ve developed that relationship with leaves?
Creating a relationship with a customer obviously depends on the service and products you deliver; however, there’s no way to minimize the importance of the personal relationship you build with the decision-maker. That bond of trust and collaboration fosters long-term relationships.
But nothing lasts forever.
So what do you do when the customer contact you’ve partnered with leaves? That’s the topic that Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease addresses in her recent IdeaXchange blog.
She lists a series of do’s and don’ts to follow when your contact has been replaced. These tips were offered at the 2018 NationaLease Sales Meeting by National Account Executive, Jay Hagerty.
DO immediately set up an appointment ASAP with the new person in order to build a new relationship
DO treat this new person as you would a new or prospective customer. You have no idea how much has been communicated to this person either by their predecessor or by others on their internal team.
DO make sure you understand whether or not the role has changed for this new person. Make sure the authority and responsibilities have not changed.
DO identify any problems or issues that may arise with this new person as quickly as possible so you can resolve them in a timely manner.
DON’T act like nothing has changed. This is a new reality. Deal with it and adjust your approach as needed.
DON’T underestimate this new person’s influence, perceptions, and prejudices. Every person is different. What worked well with your previous contact may not work at all with his or her replacement.
DON’T rely on your contract with the customer; you still need to work this new relationship. A contract today doesn’t insure a contract when the current one terminates.
DON’T forget you’re part of a team. Although you are the point person, the one whose sales skills helped get the business in the first place, use your team’s expertise to help give the new decision-maker confidence in the relationship.
The biggest DON’T is obviously “don’t assume and don’t take anything for granted.” Look on this as a new opportunity not just to keep the business you have, but even more importantly, to grow it.
Get more information on this issue and others by reading Jane’s IdeaXchange blogs