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Selling Advice: The Number 1 Factor in Customer Loyalty By Jill Konrath

It is devastating when you lose a long-term customer to a competitor. It’s even worse when you have been there for them, consistently providing top-notch service for years. You feel betrayed by their lack of loyalty.

Plus, you’re ticked off at your company. You did everything possible, but they didn’t give you a good enough price to compete effectively. Or, your offering just wasn’t quite as good as your competitors.

Here’s the deal. You may be seriously deluding yourself about the reasons you lost the business. Recently the Corporate Executive Board did an in-depth analysis of customer loyalty drivers. Here are the primary factors they uncovered and the percentage of their contribution to loyalty.

19% – Company/brand impact
19% – Product and service delivery
9% – Value-to-price ratio
53% – Sales experience

Stunning, isn’t it? You are the biggest factor of all. Your personal impact during the sales experience is greater than all the other factors combined.

Clients stay with your firm because of what it’s like to work with you. But it’s much more than just having a “great relationship” with them or taking care of all their problems.

Your customers want you to be an invaluable resource to them all the time. Specifically, that means they want you to:

– Bring them ideas, insights, and information to help them achieve their business objectives

– Guide them about how to make a good decision, as well as who needs to be involved and the next steps

– Keep them up to date about any changes that could impact them—positively or negatively

– Challenge their thinking and provide them with fresh perspectives

Are you doing that with your best clients? If you’re focused on just your relationship, it’s simply not enough. You may be at serious risk of losing them if a competitor comes in and provides the value they’re looking for.

Don’t let it happen to you.
Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies, is a recognized sales strategist in the highly competitive B2B market. A popular speaker at sales meetings, she helps her clients crack into corporate accounts, speed up their sales cycle and generate demand for their offering. Visit SellingtoBigCompanies.com.

-What are some steps you can take from the ideas above into place to get better results?