Early in every sellers’ career, they learn to segment clients. They have As, Bs, Cs, and “everybody else.” What separates great sellers from others, is their ability to balance these segments and manage their relationship with each. While seemingly elementary, this can be a daunting task for even the most veteran salespeople, if they haven’t formed good client management habits. Below I have identified four ways to ensure you’re not losing sales from the improper balance of your client segments.
1. Understand your tiers are malleable.
Each client isn’t confined to their tier over the course of their lifetime. If you’re in an industry that allows you to form relationships over a long period of time, it’s likely that your client base will grow with you. Your Cs will become Bs and your Bs will become As as you build those relationships, and your clients will begin to see you as an industry leader.
The contrapositive is applicable as well. Without proper relationship management, even your golden goose can tarnish overtime, so don’t neglect the As because they may not always remain at the top of your client list. Just because an account is running smoothly doesn’t mean that things won’t change within your client’s organization. Make sure you’re spending an adequate amount of time tending to each client segment, so you can build and foster relationships with each and every one of them.
2. Don’t forget about “everybody else.”
As mentioned earlier, As, Bs, and Cs aren’t the only clients to worry about.
Imagine you sell insurance policies. Your best clients are those that have purchased expensive policies and are projected to increase their investing with you over time. Affluence drops as you descend segments. Maybe 10% of your clients have very inexpensive policies that they only purchased to lock in their insurability while they’re still in good health.
It would be easy to disregard this segment, as you currently make next to nothing on their premiums, and you assume they’ll reach out to you when they want to increase their coverage. This train of thought would be a mistake. Just as you stay attentive to your best clients, you must have a presence with those on the fringe. The only way to guarantee that “everybody else” ends up being lucrative, is by reaffirming your value over time and the importance of buying from you. Selling is often a marathon, not a sprint.
3. Accept change and remain adaptable.
The efforts that are successful in managing client relationships today may not always be effective. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your clients, their businesses, and their pain points. You should be seen as much more than a salesperson. The more you can immerse yourself in your clients’ businesses, the more meaningful your relationship with them will be.
This way, when a trend or shift in their industry begins to take root, you can get ahead of the curve and position yourself and your offers in such a way that can be beneficial; enhancing your client-seller relationship.
4. Listen to your client base.
A tactic that any seller learns if they survive in this industry for long enough, is that sometimes the best thing you can do is listen. The clients that need the most attention and guidance will ask for it. Make sure that you read their cues and respond to them appropriately. It’s important to understand and appreciate that your top tier clients aren’t always the ones that will need you the most. It’s true that you should be continuously optimizing your time, but just because a client doesn’t have the biggest premiums, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time. Listen and then adapt to the needs of your clients, and you’re sure to develop beneficial relationships as a result.
Juggling client accounts can be successful if you take the right steps. By understanding tier dynamics, remembering to include everyone, remaining adaptable, and listening, you can ensure that you’re putting your best effort forward in building relationships with your clients.