This week’s blog offers some sales insight from our very own Chair Chick, Beth Ocker! Check out her “Top 5 Tips for Maintaining Client Relationships” below:

  1. LISTEN: So many times, we salespeople can be laser-focused on our agenda (sales goals, winning the opportunity, maintaining our pipeline) that we miss hearing our client’s actual needs. If we don’t pick up on those needs, we can’t address them appropriately, and you can be sure your client will be seeking someone else who can. Early in my career, I attached a Post-It to my computer screen that read “SHUT UP.” That little yellow square has served me well.
  2. DEVELOP A PARTNERSHIP: Friends and colleagues working outside of a sales capacity often ask, “How do you do it? I’d be too freaked out to ask someone to buy something.” My immediate reaction is, “WHY??” After all, someone sold you that car you drove to work in today, the coffee in your hand, and those fabulous shoes. But yes, I do understand the fear. Does the term “partner” have the same icky effect? Because that’s how I see myself… a partner to my clients; an extension of their team responsible for completing a project. The sale is only one aspect of my role – I also listen, plan, support, manage and troubleshoot alongside my clients. Anyone who thinks of sales as simply a transaction-based job should be scared.
  3. ENJOY THE GLORY, BUT TAKE THE HITS: Look: nobody likes to be the fall-guy. Especially when it’s the vendor that ordered something wrong, the subcontractor that screwed up the installation instructions, or the client that is backtracking on an earlier approval. My mantra is, if you’re the client liaison, enjoy the glory… AND take the hits. Fair? No. But, let’s face it, when you call your phone company to dispute a charge, you don’t really care about their internal procedures or which department is at fault – you just want someone take care of it. Finger-pointing never helps a situation, but taking responsibility and implementing the solution does. In fact, in the end, taking the hits might even earn you some glory.
  4. HONESTY ALWAYS: We all learned it in our early childhood years: telling the truth is always better than telling a lie. As it was true in elementary school, so it is in your professional life. Enough said.
  5. HAVE FUN: Fun at work? Yes, I said it! What’s the point of putting all those hours working if you aren’t enjoying yourself in the process? The best part of my day is spent with clients. Why? Because my clients are AWEsome They have amazing personal and professional stories to share, interesting events happening in their lives, and I always learn something new from them. Spending the day with cool people? That’s my idea of fun!

Beth Ocker, Senior Account Manager, a.k.a. The Chair Chick!