January 30, 2015
Any experienced salesperson will understand the dread that comes with the “check in” call. Chitchatting with long term customers just does not have the same level of excitement as landing a new account. It does not have to be this way, however, you can introduce value into periodic calls with your long term customers. All you have to do is a little homework beforehand.
Think about your last conversation with this customer. What did the two of you discuss? Drawing on that conversation, you should be able to address one of the following four scenarios in your next call:
- An ongoing problem they are having (example: They can’t get enough programmers to fill their open positions)
- A plan they are putting into place for the future (example: They are expanding into the southeastern United States this fall)
- An unexpected challenge that has arisen (example: Their promising new technology just failed an important test)
- A celebration is in order (example: They just landed a large government contract)
You can use any of the preceding issues as a jumping off point for the conversation. For example, you could ask, “How are the plans going for the expansion since we last spoke?” Or, “Have you been able to recruit more programmers?” These questions should lead to in depth conversations about your customers’ business and in turn what you can do to: increase their profits, smooth out their operations, or help plan for their future.