Don’t Make A Sale, Make A Long-Term Customer
May 15, 2009 by Rich Whittle
Establishing ongoing relationships with customers enhances the long-term success of most small companies.
It’s more cost-effective and a lot less stressful to serve ongoing accounts than it is to continually search for new business.
Cash flows are more stable, and increased operational efficiency's can reduce internal costs, increasing profitability.
To secure a long-term customer, sales personnel need to “look beyond the sale.” They need to form a relationship with the customer, solving all of the customer’s needs and providing ongoing value of products and services.
The basis for establishing such a relationship is to address the five key needs of every customer. These include:
• Excellence of products and services on an ongoing basis
• Competitive pricing, assuring good value
• Top quality after-sales service and warranties
• An ongoing seamless relationship between customer and sales staff
• The need for a customer to feel smart or “right” if questioning the purchasing decision
Addressing these needs and any others pertinent to specific industries should be the basis for every sales presentation.
In fact, it can be argued that during the first sales presentation to a potential customer, sales personnel should not try for a close.
Rather, they should focus exclusively on showing why their company can satisfy the five above-mentioned needs.