This is the second in a series of five blog posts about how to create and implement a “SMART” strategy to manage client relationships — one that incorporates personalization and industry expertise into every client interaction. By using this tailored approach, your team will boost your organization’s sales conversion success and deepen those relationships.

Are your relationship managers (RMs) or account executives (AEs) using a “SMART” client strategy?:

Strategic Mindset
Make Recommendations
Alternative Ideas
Real Conversations
Take Less and Give More

Vertical IQ is excited to share our free ebook, “How to Build a ‘SMART’ Sales Organization,” with you! You can download it here.

Boy, oh boy: If you’re in a good mood and want to stay that way, do NOT turn on the news or look at social media! It’s full of gloom and doom, and understandably so. These are fraught times for individuals, many of whom have lost their jobs or are dealing with COVID-19-related health concerns. It’s also an especially challenging time for many businesses that are trying to stay afloat and adjust to a new normal.

That’s why today’s small to medium-sized business (SMB) owners are clamoring for the latest information and advice that is tailored to their individual company’s needs. That’s also why, now more than ever, a “SMART” client strategy is so effective at winning and retaining business.

You’re on your way to making “SMART”er recommendations

So, you’ve developed your Strategic Mindset, learning from the other SMBs you work with and applying that knowledge strategically to other clients’ businesses. Choosing a handful of niche industries to focus on is a great way to achieve this type of industry expertise, or as we call it, Industry Intelligence.

You can learn more about nurturing your Strategic Mindset in our recent blog post, Using a Strategic Mindset to Build Trust with Clients and Prospects.

Industry Intelligence provides critical information and insights about industry trends, challenges, and opportunities to help sales professionals understand what to say with prospects and customers to win, retain, and grow business.

Now you’re ready to take the next step and Make Recommendations.

Get the scoop from your client

You have passion for the “game” and are motivated to become a value-added advisor in order to help your clients thrive. After all, every experienced relationship manager (RM) or account executive (AE) knows that when your client succeeds, you succeed. And that means first understanding your client’s goals.

To get to the heart of this matter, here are four key questions that RMs/AEs should be asking their clients:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with your business from a financial perspective?
  •  What are your business goals with regard to finding new customers?
  • What are your personal career goals?
  • How will you go about achieving these goals?

Your client’s answers to these questions will inform your advice and recommendations at every turn. In fact, the savvy RM will refer back to their client’s responses frequently to ensure you are providing appropriate ongoing guidance to meet those goals. This type of consultative, personalized relationship creates trust, mutual respect, and most importantly, solid advice.

Gain a better understanding with ongoing Industry Intelligence

The business owner’s answers to the four questions above should be the foundation for every recommendation your team makes for that client’s business (and personal) finances. But it also is crucial to understand where the client’s company fits within their industry and the broader economy in order to provide them with the best long- and short-term guidance.

This is another way in which Industry Intelligence is critical and should be an ongoing endeavor. And Vertical IQ can make it simple. Here are some quick, easy ways to share your industry knowledge with your clients as you advise them:

  • Subscribe to the Quarterly Update email for your client’s industry, and forward it to them with a note pointing out any particularly salient trends.
  • Print a recent news article from the Industry Profile and mail it to your client with a note that you will call to discuss.
  • Review the Local Economies section for the area(s) where your client currently operates, or for any geographies they are considering for expansion, and share pertinent data to help inform their business growth decisions.
  • Incorporate information from the Industry Trends, Industry Risks, and Industry Forecast chapters of the Industry Profile into your conversation or presentation.
  • Check to see how your client’s industry has been impacted by the pandemic by using Vertical IQ’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. Share this information with your client to initiate a discussion about their business’s own experiences and how you can help them address these issues.

Informed advice is the best advice

Once you put in the time and effort to become an expert on your niches, your work isn’t over. Just as people in most professions have to do continuing education coursework, you should work to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings within your clients’ industries.

By staying attuned to the latest industry opportunities, challenges, and trends, your team will be armed with the expertise needed to Make Recommendations that are a personalized, nuanced, and effective aspect of your SMART sales strategy. And this informed guidance can truly help your SMB owner-clients move their financial needle.

Vertical IQ SMART eBookLearn more about how to create a SMART sales strategy by downloading Vertical IQ’s free ebook, “How to Build a ‘SMART’ Sales Organization,” today!


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