“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.”
Whether you are a sales leader or a salesperson, I ask you to think about your clients… Are you giving them the attention needed to grow the relationship, grow their business and to enhance your sales results?
In our time together, I would like for you to keep in the back of your mind the following…
The ways in which you pay attention to your clients will determine the experiences they have. Conversely, these experiences will determine the quality of your sales lives.
Question becomes, what are all of you paying attention to?
To reinforce this point, allow me to take all of you back to 1890. In the book The Principles of Psychology, Vol.1, William James wrote a powerful statement packed with meaning: “My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
Therefore, if your experiences are based on what you agree to attend to, then the same philosophy can be applied to your clients and the experiences they have with you, or what they attend to with you.
The simple act of paying attention and the way in which it’s performed, James cites, is what sets geniuses apart from ordinary people. Could this be what sets sales professionals apart from sales reps?
James further stresses…
“Sustained attention is the easier, the richer in acquisitions and the fresher and more original the mind. In such minds, subjects bud and sprout and grow. At every moment, they please by a new consequence and rivet the attention afresh. But an intellect unfurnished with materials, stagnant, unoriginal, will hardly be likely to consider any subject long. A glance exhausts its possibilities of interest. Geniuses are commonly believed to excel other men in their power of sustained attention… Their ideas coruscate, every subject branches infinitely before their fertile minds, and so for hours they may be rapt.”
Focus your attention back to the above quote and the underlined sentences. This quote is over 130 years old and is massively applicable to the sales world today.
Sustained attention over time is easier. Are you bringing fresh ideas, new perspectives and originality to your clients; to bud, sprout and grow the relationship? Is every new interaction with your clients riveting and afresh?
The flip side, an intellect (let’s call it what it is, a sales rep) unfurnished with materials, stagnant, and unoriginal, will hardly keep the attention of their clients.
Attention combined with experiences will determine if your clients stay or if they go elsewhere.
Let’s continue our journey together.
When it comes to business development, it’s a delicate balance and blending of prospecting for new business while retaining and growing your client base.
Choosing what you pay attention to or how you divvy up your time can be challenging, as you and I know both know how busy you all are running around doing “stuff”.
Research continually shows us that it costs businesses significantly more to acquire new clients as opposed to retaining them. Successful businesses, leadership and their salespeople understand the importance of providing and continually creating outstanding client experiences.
Customers rely on their emotional experiences with salespeople more than any of the traditional factors, according to research by the Peppers & Rogers Group, which showed:
- 60% of all customers stop dealing with a company because of what they perceive as indifference on the part of salespeople.
- 70% of customers leave a company because of poor service, which is usually attributed to a salesperson.
What this reinforces is the importance that attitude and emotion play in determining whether your clients leave or stay. It’s mission critical for you to understand your client’s attitudes and regularly collect their feedback.
In a recent article titled, “What is CX?” by McKinsey & Company, they dove deep into why customer experience matters. McKinsey hit head on the importance of enhancing the customer experience and why in the B2B market sector it is so vital.
- Relationships often go deeper in B2B
- There are longer, more complex B2B journeys involving more individuals
- Customization is more widespread in B2B
- The stakes are usually higher in B2B deals, as individual B2B customer relationships are often worth millions of dollars
“The majority of B2B customers we surveyed say they will actively look for another supplier if their main needs are not met.”
McKinsey & Company
As we dive deeper into our journey together, chew on this… Why do your clients do business with you?
Is it because they feel valued and well taken care of? I guarantee the “why” will have monumental impact to you, and the loyalty of your clients.
ARE YOU TAKING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS FOR GRANTED?
“Life is a precious gift – a gift we often take for granted until it is threatened.”
Taking your clients for granted is an awful mistake and one that will come back to haunt you.
Unfortunately, and for many in sales when they get bit by the “complacency bug” it inflicts venom that takes salespeople down the path of finger-pointing and excuse making.
Taking your clients for granted is equivalent to shutting down your business.
Given the fierce competition vying for your client’s business, they will not stick around for long when complacency sets in.
According to research conducted by Microsoft and cited inside the Nextiva blog – “100 Essential Customer Service Statistics and Trends for 2022, update: June 3rd, 2021.”
“68% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience.”
Let’s apply this quote to everyone in sales but with a twist…
Could 68% of your clients stop doing business with you due to a poor experience or lack of attention by you?
STOP GROWING YOUR COMPETITORS NEXT GREAT CLIENT!
“Success can lead to complacency, and complacency is the greatest enemy of success.”
How do you truly know you are delivering value to your clients?
Depending on how you answer, then what types of experiences are you providing to your clients?
Are you really giving them what they value, need and desire more effectively than your competitors?
How sure are you?
It’s not a good idea to take your client’s loyalty for granted. Meeting their expectations is just not good enough. Your clients want to know you care.
I truly believe it’s more effective to act as if no one knows you or recognizes the value you bring because this will make you show it every day.
Would you know the last time you met with one of your clients and asked them, “What value do my services, products or solutions create for you?” I am waiting for your answer, still waiting, still waiting; this is what I thought – it has been a while or never.
I encourage you to think about this question “What does value add look like to your clients?” I bet your clients want to increase sales and grow their client base, correct?
Ever ask your clients, “What does a great sales and client experience look like?”
STAY TOP OF MIND AND PAY ATTENTION
Sustaining meaningful value in the minds of your clients requires persistence, extreme focus and radical attention.
Think about the following and now think about your clients:
- What’s happening right now within their business?
- What changes if any may be happening to them right now?
- What problems may they be facing?
- What difficulties are they encountering in their marketplace?
If you’re not paying attention to your clients and spending quality business time with them, I promise someone else will. And when this happens do not be surprised by it.
YOU CAN’T GET NORDSTROM’S LEVEL OF ATTENTION AT WALMART!
Are you being viewed as sales rep who sells products and services or are you being viewed as a sales professional who enlightens, adds value, informs, advises, counsels, nurtures and becomes an advocate on behalf of their clients?
Experiences matter in a world full of empty suits
What are you paying attention to?
In today’s complex and hyper competitive business environment, it’s the ideas, insight, information, help, and guidance you provide which will continually earn you the privilege of doing business with your clients.
I will leave you all to think about this…
Are you silently growing your competitors next great client? Would you even know?
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.