Customer Retention Starts with the Sale

The old adage “it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one” is 100% true.  The ability to keep customers should be a primary concern for any sales person.  If you have a sales job where you get to sell more business to your current customers, customer retention is very important.  If you have a sales job when you sell a new customer they are turned over to someone else to manage, customer retention is still very important because you don’t want a bad reputation of customers leaving your company.

Customer retention starts with the sale.  The sales person has to first accurately represent to the prospect the products or services.  In essence, you as the sales person are laying a foundation of expectations for the prospect.   You don’t want to create expectations in excess of what you can deliver. Meeting a customer’s expectation may not be good enough to keep the customer.  For sure, not meeting a customer’s expectation will lead to lost business.

Another thing to keep in mind is the implementation of your product or service.  The implementation sets the stage for the ongoing relationship you will have with your customer.  Make sure the customer knows what will happen in the implementation and do something that will “Wow” your new customer.  The “Wow” factor is very important.  If you start off with something really great, you create a great first customer experience that will often stay with the customer for life.  Of course, you can’t “Wow” them at the start and then have service erode over time.

Relationships drive customer retention.  As the salesperson it is your job to create the open communication that is necessary to maintain the relationship.   Make sure that the people in your company who will be interacting with your customer are introduced during the implementation.  Everyone that will interact with your customer needs to know the person they will be working with.  For example, introduce your accounts receivables person to your customer’s accounts payables person.

Lastly, set up specific times to review with your customer how the relationship is going.  The review can be formal or informal, but you want to regularly review and rate your performance.

Keep in mind these things and keep more customers.