In my work with sales staffs around the world, I have found the old adage "20% of the sales staffs write 80% of the business" to be true. It doesn't vary much station to station.
The "80/20 rule" was first discovered by Vilfredo Pareto in 1906. It's an interesting piece of information, but I am more concerned about WHAT the 20% that write 80% of the business DO to be so successful?
In doing on-the-job research with my clients, I've found that one of the main elements is the ability to provide extraordinary service to their clients. They "go the extra mile". This cuts their attrition rate and helps them to maintain their base.
It's also true that "going the extra mile" can be defined differently by different clients. To understand their definition of great service, we need to ask them. At the time we close the agreement, we need to set the stage for our future interactions. What do they need, and want, from us?
"Mr. Client, I want to take very good care of you. I'm planning on seeing you in person once a month, but that may not be often enough. Would you like me to contact you every two weeks? Once a week?"
Work out what makes your client feel special and cared for.
Next ask, "What is the best way to communicate with you? Do you prefer phone calls, emails, texts?" These should not take the place of in-person visits, but they are great ways to handle the logistics of our business.
Once you've established a time-line for contact, make sure you write it down in your calendars. We get busy, and sometimes we forget.
Next, think about how to "go the extra mile". Be sure to write a thank-you note for the sale. But also send a thank-you note randomly throughout the year. Acknowledge their continuing support.
What else can you do? Know birthdays and special occasions. The cost of a card and a stamp will provide a pleasant surprise for clients.
I have one top biller who sends flowers or a gift basket each month to one of her clients. She picks random times not associated with birthdays. They are a "thank you" for their business.
Another drops by with coffee once in awhile. And, they know how the client likes the coffee. If you have out-of-town clients, or those who are still not doing in-person meetings, send them a coffee gift card with a note that says, "Let's have coffee together next week over Zoom."
Taking a client to lunch is always a good way to get them out of the office and relaxed.
Yes, these "extra mile" items require an investment on our part. But, isn't it worth it to solidify your relationship with your clients? Extraordinary service is never ignored because it's so rare today.
Our clients have been through trying times in the past year, as have we. I believe you will agree that relationships saved us all. Make sure those are stronger than ever moving forward.
Remember, there are NO traffic jams on the extra mile!