This is the fifth and final post 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.

Your Strategic Mindset is enabling you to gain knowledge from the clients and strategically apply that Industry Intelligence to other small to medium-sized business (SMB) clients. You are using these same insights to Make Recommendations based on your understanding of the client’s unique business situation plus what’s happening in their industry. You then use these insights in order to provide outside-the-box Alternative Ideas to your clients. You are displaying your knowledge, as well as your authenticity, by having Real Conversations with your clients.

The final step in implementing your SMART client strategy is to Take Less and Give More. Let’s get started!

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.

Don’t fall into the salesperson stereotype

There are certain stereotypes applied to people in sales roles. You’ve seen these clichés in movies, TV shows, and advertisements. While it is good to be able to laugh at ourselves, the truth is that all of us in sales have been on the receiving end of the stereotypical salesperson: pushing their product, talking too much, not asking the right questions or not listening to our response. The plaid suit, fake smile, and gold chain are optional.

And having been a salesperson myself, I must confess I do see some glimmers of reality in the way people in sales are often portrayed on TV. Of course, it isn’t true of all salespeople, but let’s face it: Most people in sales roles tend to take time away from people, not give them anything back, and/or try to sell them something they may not need.

It shouldn’t be this way, and as customers today leverage the internet for information and get increasingly savvy, they simply won’t stand for this take, take, take sales approach. They will demand better, and the successful salesperson will figure out how to meet their demands and even exceed their expectations.

As a relationship manager (RM) or account executive (AE), you should be thinking of how you can give SMB owners more than you take. Whether it’s sharing economic knowledge or providing ideas about how to improve their business, offering insights about how other similar companies solve challenges, or discussing the latest trends in their industry, this “take less, give more” mindset alone can help put you miles ahead of most of your competitors.

An offer they can’t refuse

If you’re ready to Take Less and Give More, the best way to start is to be on the lookout for opportunities to share that useful information that SMB owners crave. It’s one surefire way to gain trusted advisor status. After all, a true partner isn’t just there when the client needs to purchase a product or service. They are a year-round consultative ally, actively working to nurture their client’s success.

But be mindful of the fact that the SMB owner’s time is valuable — time is literally money for them. That’s why it’s so important that you and your team ensure each and every client interaction adds value to the relationship. The goal should always be to help the SMB owner identify new opportunities to achieve success and offer new financial solutions to address challenges. And this is where proactivity and personalization are key.

By understanding the ins and outs of the client’s industry, you can engage in a more tailored and thought-provoking dialogue about their business. But by sharing insightful information — details that the business owner may not have time to proactively seek out themselves — you also increase your value in the client’s eyes.

This is just one example of premium customer service that builds loyalty and also can fetch premium fees. Yet it’s simple for RMs and AEs to implement.

  • Find a timely industry-related article and print it out.
  • Highlight a few sections that seem especially relevant to your client’s business.
  • Then, jot a personal note in the corner saying you will follow-up with a call to discuss if the client is experiencing something similar within their company.
  • Staple a business card to it and drop it in the mail for a valuable client touchpoint.

This tactic also makes for a great leave-behind after a meeting and gives you a topic to lead with during your next conversation with that client.

Give ‘em what they want: Industry Intelligence

Sharing Industry Intelligence with your SMB client achieves multiple goals. First and foremost, it is useful information that the busy business owner may not have time to find on their own. Who doesn’t want to better understand the latest trends and risks within their industry, much less what their competitors are up to!

Second, it shows the SMB owner that you are in tune with their industry. We all expect more personalized experiences in this day and age. The insights afforded by Industry Intelligence enable you to have more tailored conversations and provide more customized solutions to meet the SMB’s needs.

Third, it inspires conversations that lead to your providing solid financial advice to your clients. This is where the rubber meets the road.

But perhaps most important, sharing Industry Intelligence enables you to Take Less and Give More. This altruistic mentality — where your first goal isn’t to make a sale but rather to help your client — creates a rewarding chicken or egg causality scenario.

Taking less while giving more will make your SMB clients more loyal to you, and in turn, it will make you a more successful salesperson. But providing helpful industry insights to clients also enables salespeople to become trusted advisors, and clients are more loyal when their RM or AE is bringing value to the relationship.

By following the five steps of a SMART sales strategy — incorporating personalization and industry expertise into every client interaction — you will increase your prospect-to-client conversion rate and deepen existing relationships. And hey, when you Take Less and Give More, you might just help put an end to those clichés about salespeople!

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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