This three-step plan helps hunters protect their hard-won accounts

by on March 4, 2013 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Top Sales Dog
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Do you close a sale, do an end-zone “victory dance” and then move on to the next deal? If so, you’re a hunter.

And let’s face it: Follow-up doesn’t come naturally to hunters.

Chances are, the account still “belongs” to you after the initial sale. You probably get credit for follow-on sales, and the buyer still considers you the linchpin.

But you know what happens: You put the account in the capable hands of the account management team – the “farmers” – while you go hunting for the next opportunity.

Too late
Of course, you intend to stay involved. “Call me anytime,” you tell the buyer and account manager. But by the time you get the call, it’s probably too late. Somebody else got that new sale from your customer.

Hunters do better if they build a structured plan for follow-up, and set it into motion at the time of the sale.

A plan delivers two benefits:

  • It ensures your buyer doesn’t feel abandoned.
  • It can open up new “hunting” opportunities for you – specifically, cross-sells and upsells.

Here’s a three-step approach you can follow. If you have an account management team, coordinate it with them. If not, you can do it on your own:

1. The seven-day follow up
As soon as you close the first deal, make a note in your schedule to follow up seven days after the post-sale work is done. That is, one week after delivery, installation, implementation, training, or whatever else goes on in your situation.

The purpose, of course, is to ensure that the new customer is completely satisfied with all aspects of the sale and the post-sale activity that’s taken place.

Use the opportunity to uncover and resolve any issues that may have come up in the interim.

This meeting is all about solidifying your relationship, not about selling the buyer more. Your presence conveys to the buyer that you are not one of those salespeople who play “best friend” only until the ink is dry on the contract.

2. The new customer survey
The same way your follow-up call helps cement your personal relationship, a new customer survey will help show the customer that your organization cares, and wants to make sure that the buying experience was a good one.

A short survey should ask what the buyer liked best and least, and what could have been handled better. It can raise issues that the buyer might have been reluctant to tell you in person. Key point: This survey should not come across as a thinly veiled marketing effort.

3. A 30-day follow-up
Wait a month (but not longer) to place a 30-day follow-up call. The call aims to confirm that the customer is still satisfied, thank them for responding to the survey, and schedule a meeting to discuss additional problems you can help solve.

This meeting is where you can explore cross-selling and upselling opportunities. You’ve given the customer time to use your product or service and to experience the level and quality of the support they’re getting.

Source:Based on a posting by Craig James at www.sales-solutions.biz

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