Leveraging client relationships is often an area that is overlooked by most sales professionals. In fact, once a prospect becomes a client, frequently the relationship is handed off to an account manager and the salesperson moves on to new opportunities. And, even if the sales rep continues to work with the client post-sale, not much more will come from that client.
Now, before I share with you 5 things sales professionals want from their clients, it is vital that you don’t hit up all your clients with all of the following requests. Pace them out and ask appropriately.
1. More Business – while this may seem obvious, often sales reps don’t go back to the decision-maker and ask for additional business. They are so excited they closed the deal, they don’t think about growing it. Up-selling is a skill that all sales professionals should hone.
2. Internal Referrals – frequently there are additional decision-makers that can use your services the same way your client has. Leverage LinkedIn’s company pages to find others within the company that can use your products/services and asks your contact for an introduction.
3. External Referrals – by searching your clients’ connections, you can identify a few people they are connected to that you’d like to meet and ask for introductions or get permission to Name Drop.
4. Recommendations (testimonials) – when your client says “great job” you say “thank you, I am so glad you are happy with my product/service” I am wondering if you’d be open to writing a recommendation for me on LinkedIn. I can paraphrase your comments and send it to you with a link to make it easier, would you be okay with that?” Now, from your profile click on the down arrow next to the “view profile as” button and choose “Ask to be recommended”. Complete the fields and share the recommendation suggestion in the message area and send.
5. Vendor Introductions – this is such a vital way to begin to build networking and strategic alliance relationships. By meeting and working with non-competitive vendors that sell to the same decision-maker, you can leverage both of your relationships to help each other out.
So now what?
Go make a list of all of your clients and the people that you worked with over the last few years. Decide on the people you are going to reach out to and the what you are going to ask them for in advance. Put a timeline around each client (maybe once a week) and hold yourself accountable for this activity.