Sometimes I dream about what it must be like in Sales Heaven.
In Sales Heaven, customers are always satisfied. They love you; they love your product; and truly believe you’re delivering exceptional value – even when you have to increase your price. The best part, they’re 100% committed to you forever. You can count on business from them for eternity.
Wait, I think I just heard my wake-up call.
Here’s an ugly fact from the real world: Satisfied buyers switch all the time. In fact, one study found that 50 percent of “satisfied” customers are predisposed to switching suppliers.
Of course you must keep your customers satisfied if you want them to stick around. But it’s not enough. There’s a long-term strategy that’s vital to cementing those customer relationships. It’s called the Entanglement Strategy, and it’s a must-know for any salesperson who wants to retain and grow accounts.
The Entanglement Strategy relies on salespeople finding ways to become so enmeshed in a customer’s business that the thought of switching to another vendor sounds so daunting and unpleasant that it ceases to be worth it for customers. How do you make that happen? Here are four possible routes to doing so:
Create more work for your customer. You want to claim a bigger share of your buyer’s to do list.
Create multiple decision makers. The more decision makers you have on your side, the harder it is for an outsider to break in
Increase your buyer’s investment in training, and
Get involved with the customers’ planning and development process. Be an essential part of their future plans.
Sure, another supplier might be able to offer better terms or a lower price than you can. But in order to switch, your customer would have to put all those initiatives you’re involved with on hold, train people all over again, explain why you aren’t coming around. Eventually the cost of switching stops being worth whatever benefit your competitor might offer.
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