They say that sales is all about touches. A dozen or more touches to get a response from sales prospects, and then it can take a prolonged courtship to finally close the deal.
But when the honeymoon ends and the hard work of building a customer relationship begins, your lack of attention may get your customers thinking about having one foot out the door. Unless you want to end up alone in your cubicle listening to Adele or that one Gotye song on repeat, here are a few warning signs you should pay attention to.
1. You keep lying or breaking promises
In a list of bad breakup reasons, this might be the worst. If you make a promise to do something, you’ve got to follow through, otherwise you teach your customers one of two things: you don’t value them enough to be honest about what you can accomplish together, or you don’t know your own capabilities. Either way, it’s not a good sign.
2. You're clearly in this for you
When you started out, you were attentive and giving, but recently you’ve gotten to be all about what’s good for you. You only share when you’re trying to get something out of them. When they say they want to talk about where this relationship is going, your response is only to talk about adding seats, and they’re just not ready for new seats at this stage of the relationship.
3. You stopped listening
It used to be that when they called you’d try to make things happen. You’d hear out their issues, understanding that sometimes an enterprise solution can take a while to get used to. But you lost patience, and now when you get a call asking about bug fixes you assume it’s user error and brush off those concerns as irrelevant.
4. You don't seem interested in making them happy anymore
Once upon a time you’d roll out improvements to your platform, knowing that it’s the small things that make your customers happy. But just recently you’ve started weighing the cost of delighting them with whether they deliver the ROI and, more and more, you’re deciding that what you’re putting into the relationship is good enough, even though deep down you probably know it’s not.
5. You stopped calling "just because"
Remember those days when you’d call and talk for hours, just because? You’d be curious about their day, what their pain points were and their hopes for the future. You’d try to be supportive, thinking of ways you could help them could overcome those challenges, or just provide a friendly ear. Those days are long gone, though. Now if you call it’s only because they came up on your calendar or because you have something to upsell. For the last time—no, they don’t want to just #salesforceandchill
6. You're obviously interested in someone new
Your phone is always busy. You’re always in meetings. Every time your customer reaches out to you you’re just on your way to somewhere else. The signs are obvious: you’re interested in someone new. Some other prospect that still has the new relationship sparkle, and you don’t have time for the customers you’ve already made a commitment to.
7. You don't give them something they can't get elsewhere
It’s easy to think that you offer something exclusive, something that’s so awesome they can’t get it as good anywhere else. But have you checked out the competition lately? Customers are willing to feel the pinch of a higher price if they can feel better about what they get for it. And remember, if you’re always looking for that new customer sparkle, why would you assume they’re not being courted by someone else?
If you don’t treat every customer like they could leave at any moment, that's what will happen. Pay attention to what’s happening with them, set Google Alerts so you catch good news to celebrate with them. When they renew, ask them what you’ve been doing well over the last year and where they might want you to work a little harder. Read this blog about how to build trust with your customers.
Your customers will feel taken care of, and your boss will love your retention rate.
But business relationships can be fleeting, so if you can’t help yourself and want to see what else is out there or if you're newly single... swipe right for this free trial of Winmo to find your next future ex.