Invest a little time, all the time, for long-term success.
Too many sales people only engage when there is a deal on the table. The problem here is that, if you engage the customer only during the active sales cycles, you will miss selling opportunities in the 95% of your clients who may not be active right now.
Another consequence of only working with customers during the selling cycle is losing track of ongoing issues and personnel changes in the account. Also, you will be missing out on emerging threats and opportunities. Long-term working relationships with customers require you to demonstrate an on-going commitment. It really doesn’t take that much effort to implement this concept. A small investment of time and attention will signal to the customer that you are interested in them – not just now, but for the long run!
Too many people in sales do not engage the customer outside of the active sales cycle. The argument I most often hear is “There is no deal on the table.” The problem is, if you don’t engage with a customer on a consistent basis, you may not find out about the next deal or a competitor’s move to steal your account. It’s your choice. However, trusted business advisors maintain regular contract with their customers whether there is business on the table or not.