One of the most common questions I get asked when training sales reps is “What do I say when I am visiting and/or calling the same client multiple times in a year as part of a sales cycle?”
Let’s start answering that by being clear on what not to say! If you ever visit clients to “touch base/fly the flag/just doing regular visit” – wash your mouth out and never say that again! Realise that what a client hears is “Hey I have some time to waste, can I waste yours?” or “I have a box to tick to say I have visited you – tick!”
If you are going to invest the time to contact a client and ask use their time, you both need a return on investment (ROI) and that can only come if you add value!
If you are seeing a client monthly or quarterly, show respect by being planned and intentionally and deliberately adding value. Some ideas below:
Ways to add value on every visit
Client history - always take an analysis of their account. As a rep you should know their buying trends and seasonal fluctuations, the level of your stock in their store better than they do. If you sell a service you should know what they have used the most. All of this so that you can advise them and ask relevant questions, “I see that this time last year, you had a spike in demand – are you expecting it again? We want to be stocked up to ensure you can deliver smoothly.”
Be proactive – Enquire as to future jobs
Discuss any relevant marketing material they might have received – monthly specials, promotions, featured product or new releases
Make sure the display products, brochure/flyers in their showroom are well displayed and are actually selling
Be prepared and knowledgeable around any current projects on the go, and up & coming jobs. These are foremost in the client’s mind, and being interested and fully up to speed to discuss these shows care.
Things to discuss (on a rotating basis, picking one main thing per visit)
Catalogues – ensure they are using your catalogue as a reference point. Get them in the habit of looking at this and/or your website.
New products are a great way to show you are at the forefront of your market and being innovative in responding to market needs and introducing new approaches, tools & technology
Complementing the above, when you are releasing your latest product give them a sample to trial, monitor its effectiveness and seek feedback. If possible create a tactile experience when demonstrating
Discussing sales of a certain category group – how they going, what trends in the company compared to the group (if they are part of a group) and/or comparisons countrywide in the market
Doing customer surveys – usually once every 6 months is great. Remember to do your “A” clients personally, not via online survey. Below is the latest Learning BITES on how to do a simple and effective survey to facilitate positive change.
For more on this topic, download the ebook "An Introduction to Repeat Sales Calls Made Easy" from our website.