Just as your products and services change, sometimes buyers change, especially during tough times when there’s a lot of turnover and changes in job descriptions. Such a change to mean a lost account. Salespeople who handle buyer changes properly find the accounts can be as profitable as ever.
Here are four ideas from Bill Blades, author and consultant, you should share with your salespeople to help the transition go smoothly.
- Show the relationship history. Your major challenge may be to overcome the new buyer’s previous relationship with a competitor. It’s important to show the new buyer how successful the relationship has been and prove that it shouldn’t change. Information like delivery statistics, cost reductions and testimonials from the new buyer’s co-workers may encourage the buyer to stick with you.
- Find the new hot buttons. Since you’re dealing with a different decision-maker, his or her hot buttons may be different. Mention the priorities of the predecessor and see if the replacement feels the same way.
- Focus on service. Treat the new buyer the same way you would treat a new customer. Focus on follow-through and clear communication. It may be a good idea to inform other departments in your company to give the account extra attention, especially during the transition period.
- Establish a comfort level. After you have proven yourself to the new buyer, suggest you set up new guidelines. When trust has been earned, the buyer may want to change communication methods or the way the account is being handled.