4 Strategies to Stop Inviting The “Other Guy” To Dinner
When is the last time you made a call on your existing clients? No , I don’t mean saw them, said hello or invited them to an event, I mean really made a call. You actually scheduled the appointment, and prepared for the conversation. You sat down and asked well thought out questions, and you really listened. You invested the time to learn what is going on with them and about their challenges and their goals. Perhaps it is has been a while, well you are not the only one.
My husband and I just had our financial review with our bankers, you know that twice a year meeting you have to go over your accounts and your investments. It was a great meeting, we talked in detail about our accounts, our next steps, and future goals. As we started to wrap up, our banker, nonchalantly, asked when was the last we had our insurance policies updated and reviewed? He was referring to our life, long-term care, homes, cars, the full review.
You see, over the course of our conversations that morning, we had shared that it had been a busy year. We were adding on to our home, a new room and sun deck. We had also had purchased two new cars, and were thinking about selling our beach place. We had even gone so far as to joke about how we would be in desperate need of an upgrade on our homeowners policy one this edition was complete.
The moment our banker asked that question, asked when the last time was we had our insurance policy reviewed. I realized just how closely he had been listening to us, and I thought how sad for our current insurance agent. Because I realized our current insurance agent had just kicked the door open and invited his competition in to take his business. Plus he had made it so easy.
While we like our insurance agent, he is a nice guy. We see him at events and talk to him on occasion, he never, and may I repeat never, proactively has a meeting or a call with us to update or review our relationship. He just assumes everything is good on our side and if we need anything we will call.
In other words, he leaves the door wide open, and invites the competition in to take his business. Well more than his business – his fees, his commission and any opportunity to grow this relationship. Not to mention future referrals.
The whole exchange made me think, how many of us in the sales profession are working hard to get new business, only to leave the door wide open and invite our competition in to take our business?
Here Are Four Surefire Strategies You Need To Keep The Door Closed And Your Competition Out:
- Don’t Assume – Understand you existing clients are your best sales force , and your easiest way to grow your business and portfolio. If they are happy and well take care of they will tell everyone they know. Never assume they are well taken care, loyal to you or cannot be taken by your competition. You need to “re win” your existing business on a routine basis, and treat them as if this is business you are trying to win – because it is.
- Be Proactive – seeing clients at Rotary, on the golf course or at a party does not count as a proactive sales call. If is your job, not theirs, to reach out and touch base. Contact them before they contact you. Make a point to not only see your customers, but have a great in-depth conversation so you can rest assured you are well aware of where they are headed and how you can help.
- Call Anyway – Even if clients say they don’t want to see or talk to you, make the call or find a way to be visible with them anyway. If they are good clients, someone wants their business ,and if you are not out there caring for that relationship you are just opening the door and inviting your competition in.
- Create Opportunity – Our client’s are not aware of all the products and services we offer, and it is not their job to know. When we are proactive we learn about the changes in their businesses, new challenges in their lives, and new and exciting opportunities they have coming in the future. We need to take that knowledge and that information and match it to our products and services. When our clients talk, we need to listen and then think in our minds how our products and services can help them achieve their goals. If we want to keep the competition, out we need to create more opportunity for our customer’s do more business with us.
Put these three strategies into place, and you will not only close the door to your competition, but you will put yourself in a position to expand relationships and build your bottom line.
And yes, we did answer our banker’s question. We let him know that we could not remember the last time we had had our insurance reviewed or an update done. And yes, we would be happy to open the door and invite our insurance agent’s competition right in.