Building a Relationship with your Prospect’s Replacement in 5 Easy Steps

Building a Relationship with your Prospect’s Replacement in 5 Easy Steps

As leaders in the sales profession, we all want to be one of the high-performers winning business left and right. Unfortunately, even when you’ve done everything to textbook perfection the deal may still fall through.

One possible reason why – your contact has left their company and gone to work for someone else!

How you handle yourself in this type of situation will strongly reflect your value as a salesperson. The decision-maker now may not be in a place or position to help you with continuing your sales but, perhaps in the future, might refer you to somebody else who can.

Here are 6 steps that can help you build a new relationship with their replacement.

1. Establish your connection

Communicating your product’s value and establishing exactly what it is the customer find valuable is vital because the effort you put in creating value for the customer also influences the customers’ perception of that value. Remember that your customers are never going to buy something just because you want to sell it.

They only buy things because they believe they need it.

Reaching out to your prospect to establish the first connection is highly crucial. It shouldn’t be a matter of selling; rather, take the opportunity to explain the products and services of your company that provides a valuable solution to your prospect’s problems. Researching your prospect will help you develop appealing ways to approach them.

2. Create a follow-up strategy 

An effective follow-up strategy is essential to maintain a rapport with your customers. 

Before you reach out with a follow-up after a successful sale, take the time to find out how they prefer to be contacted. A violation of this expectation can erode the trust that you’ve built up with them – your customer’s time is precious and so is yours. Create a follow-up strategy that stays focused.

Conveying gratitude is a strong foundation for your follow-up.

Above all, the main goal during the follow-up communication should be making your customers feel valued and justified in their decision to choose your company’s product or service.

Also, a follow-up conversation is the most effective time to get their feedback. Feedback points are extremely helpful both for you and for others in your company who can take the information and turn them into actionable insights that can be used to improve strategies as well as products and services. Your follow-up communication is in fact a golden opportunity in further enriching your customer’s experience by offering them with helpful information and resources.

The more personalized the approach, the greater the chance of retaining the relationship. Physical direct mail and seminar invitations are two of the many ways to keep yourself top-of-mind for your decision-maker and hearing you speak in public can help cement you as a knowledge-leader in their minds.

Remember, uninvited and intrusive communications can quickly degrade the foundation of trust you’ve built with your customers and can abruptly change their opinion about you both as a salesperson and the organization you represent.

3. Track updates about the decision-maker 

In the US, many decision-makers change jobs every month – including both internally and jump to positions in other companies.

You spend time building valuable relationships with decision-makers but unfortunately, that effort goes straight down the drain when they change their roles. They no longer now hold the budget to your account – and now you will have to look for a person who does.

Luckily, there is usually more than one person who is involved in the buying process. Meaning, if one person has left, you may still know a few other people who can help you out – The more people you know within the organization and the department, the less likely you are to drop the ball if one decision-maker leaves.

Going forward, always make sure you are up-to-date with your decision maker’s job changes. Set up email updates for key events for your leads to make sure you never miss being notified of a job change again.

4. Congratulate the decision-makers on their new positions 

Acquiring new decision-makers can be much more challenging than retaining the ones that you already have. However, even retaining customers is not as easy as it sounds – especially during times of company turmoil.

Personalized marketing is one way that helps marketers retain their customers. You can start re-engaging your original decision-maker by congratulating them on their new position with their new companies. With that out of the way, you can resume your conversation roughly where you left off and hopefully get your foot in the door with a new account.

It’s also a good idea to do the same with the new decision-maker who has taken over their role at their old company. Get the replacement decision-maker’s details and start building a relationship. Invite them to events, send them free samples or demos for new products, and ask them for their opinion and feedback – make yourself a valuable resource.

5. Be proactive

If you have an established, strong relationship with the decision-maker who has moved on to another company, you might have a shot at an entirely new account. An intro to a new client from a different company could be on the horizon.

Casually reach out to your decision-maker to chat about the latest updates on how their new role is going at the new company – this is a key time to be proactive in building and maintaining your relationship.

A salesperson who continues to cultivate his network will continue to serve, reach out, and engage with people from when they’re on bottom rungs of the ladder as they move upwards -reaping great benefits when they people advance.

Flobile Prospect Nurturing

Flobile’s prospect nurturing guide assists you with client communication sequences and follow-up strategies to establish successful relationships with clients that go beyond building your ROI pipeline. Using a data scientist-developed AI system, Flobile allows businesses to build a meaningful relationship with their target audiences and create an effective personalized buyer journey.

Suzanne Harp

About Suzanne Harp

A results-driven sales leader with over 12 years of success in delivering sustainable revenue and profit gains. Her expertise spans across multiple industries including Technology, Travel, Education, Hospitality and Professional Sports.

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