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IT’S NOT ABOUT CLIENT SATISFACTION!

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IT’S NOT ABOUT CLIENT SATISFACTION!

Sales organisations often measure client satisfaction to establish if the endeavours of their sales and service teams are hitting the mark. They even pay third party providers to supply reams of data on it.

But is this the right measure? OR

Should we be more concerned with a client’s perception of value over the course of the relationship?

Is this the true measure of a strong bond between client and vendor?

If you have ever run big sales teams, how often have you spoken to a lost client and the conversation went something like this:

“yeah look it’s got nothing to do with John’s service it has always been great, very attentive and responsive to our requests, it’s just that ABC company came in and showed us how we could run this part of our business better and more cost effectively”.

For years I worked with one of the best new business development guys around. He built a great company based on unearthing need and providing value!

Paul would often sit in front of a prospective client for the first time and the prospect would open with:

“look, I just want to say up front that we are very satisfied with our current provider”

Paul would then set about asking questions of the client about their business, their marketplace, the outcomes they wanted to achieve and the challenges they faced in achieving them.

He would then subtly enquire how their current provider assisted them to resolve these challenges and achieve their outcomes.

So often these prospective clients would work out for themselves that maybe they weren’t as happy as they first thought.  Whilst they were content with the day to day service of their current provider, they really didn’t know what they didn’t know, and therein lies the skill!

Adding value is a truer measure of why clients stay, but there is a skill in unearthing need, understanding where clients want to be, helping them to get there or removing obstacles that could impede or derail their objectives.

Making sure your client-facing people possess the consultative skills to achieve this and ensuring a consistent approach to delivery will not only retain more clients, but win you a whole bunch of new ones!

These skills will not just appear in your sales teams, they need to be trained and coached – but it’s worth the investment!