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Serving Your Client/Customer Base

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There's an old saying in sales. "Supply enough people with what they want, and you'll always have more than you need" Serving your Clients in the right way, can lead to new business and even more Clients.

In the daily push to produce sales I think many of us lose sight of that basic formula. It's important to supply our clients with exactly what they want and need. Everyone in the company benefits when customers get what they want and need.

The initial sale with any new customer is just the beginning to a lasting relationship based on trust and genuine reliability. In an environment where many companies put he emphasis on sales, true customer service after the sale, tends to fall off. Many companies spend a small fortune in marketing to get back clients they never should have lost in the first place.

If you surveyed your customers anonymously right now, how many would rave about you? How many would absolutely recommend you to others? Are you sure? Be honest with yourself. “If you have to ask you already know”

Get into the habit of viewing your clients as family members for whom you genuinely have the best interest at heart. Looking at customers in this way will go a long way to building credibility without really having to try. Could you sell “Aunt Jackie” a water heater that you know will break down in less than a year? I sure hope not. Once you adopt that type of thinking the rest just sort of falls into place. When you place your follow up call for example.

“Hello Aunt Jackie, It’s Roy, how are you? I just called to make sure that Hot Water Heater we installed isn’t giving you any trouble”

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This mindset can be applied to any industry. The goal is to have a client list that raves about you and your company. The way to achieve that goes far beyond the initial sale. All clients are family.

The path to repeat business almost exclusively relies on how the initial sale was viewed by the customer. Were you responsive to any problems that arose during the initial sale.? Did you show a genuine sense of urgency when parts were missing during an installation or delivery?


Let’s say its 4:30 pm and you are preparing to head home for the day when the phone rings. Yep, it’s your new client who is concerned because the night shift is scheduled to start at 7pm and the new Steam Press machines you just had installed are all missing structure brackets. You find the box of brackets in the warehouse, but by now everyone has gone home for the day. Guess what? You are delivering those to your customer and installing them if possible all before his/her night shift starts.

This is how to build repeat business. Clients won’t necessarily remember the problems, but they will remember your solutions and are far more likely to call when they are looking to make another purchase. Customers that rave about you and your company become part of your sales force.

Everyone in the company is in sales from the C.E.O. to the mail room. In some companies’ employees can get seriously reprimanded for speaking negatively about the company. That’s because companies are beginning to realize the potential impact of both negative and positive publicity that comes from within the company. Words from the right individual can be powerful both in positive and not so positive ways.

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Would you tend to believe a mechanic who tells you that the food at a certain restaurant is not so fresh or the waitress who serves food there? The waitress is going to have a lot more impact on your decision to eat there than the mechanic. On the other hand, imagine the waitress absolutely raving about the food she serves in the same restaurant.

Employees should be believers. Let’s say a service tech from your company is servicing a machine that your company installed years ago for a customer. As he works through his maintenance he is bragging to the customer about the new machines your company has just started carrying. He is going on and on about how much more efficient they are and how much easier they are to maintain etc. This employee can impact the customer a lot harder than any sales pitch. Employees like that are believers, and believers are closers even though they have nothing to do with the sales department. (Give that employee a raise)

Become the authority in your field. No one wants to do business with someone who has no idea what they are selling and why. When a customer has faith in your knowledge of a product he or she is likely to call you with questions before anyone else. Always make answering them a priority even if you know it doesn’t directly lead to a sale.


If your product is air filter systems and your customer calls asking about HVAC contractors, you had better get back to him with a list of people to call. Whenever you can be the “go-to” guy in your customers mind take comfort in the fact that you’re doing something right.

When that same customer calls and needs your company to design and install a new air filtration system you had better be knowledgeable and ready to offer several solutions based on specific customer needs.

Clients can tell when you’re just trying to up sell them. This type of selling is just “bad form” in my opinion. The sweetness of any up sell is quickly diminished by the fact that the customer almost never calls back.

It’s always better to value engineer a project in the way you would for a family member. Remember “Clients are family”

Holding on to good clients is not really holding them at all. Simply taking care of them in the way we would like to be taken care of, goes a long way towards building a loyal customer base.

If we can’t take care of our customers today, you can bet someone else will tomorrow.

-Roy C. Bennett TTB

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