Leading salespeople understand the importance of building and maintaining excellent customer relationships–but how do you keep the sale when your manufacturing procurement contact has retired or moved onto another company? To keep your customer, you will need to pay close attention to who they are, then tailor your communication style or your messages to cultivate the new customer relationship. Here are a few tactics that will help you keep the sale.
Listen and Learn
Even if you have a successful history of selling to a particular company, you should treat a new contact at that company as if you were starting fresh. Think of the new contact as an opportunity for our company to rethink and improve upon how we sell our products or services.
Set up conversations with them simply to engage and listen, instead of trying to close a sale right away. Gather insights about their individual communication style and preferences, and ask what they might find most important about what you’re selling.
You may discover that our company can offer something new and vital to the buyer, providing you with a new avenue for cementing the sales partnership.
Check for Priority Changes
As you learn more about the new manufacturing procurement contact, it’s also worth the time to assess the previous contact’s needs.
You may recognize, for example, that they were focused on advocating for the needs of the company’s technical users, whereas the new representative is more concerned with the cost-benefit of the solution we offer. The sales call preparation should then be structured around the financial argument for continuing to work with us, before also demonstrating that the concerns of all stakeholders will be met.
Ask About the Future
You should also be aware of any larger strategic or operational changes the manufacturer may be making. These decisions may even have prompted the change in sales contact in the first place. If we were selling raw inputs or construction components, but the company’s future plans will require assemblies for industrial equipment, it significantly alters your pitch to the new manufacturing procurement contact.
The bottom line
Never assume that the “tried-and-true” strategy is the best way to engage with a new sales contact. Remaining attentive and flexible gives you a better chance at keeping the business and forming an ongoing partnership.