You’ve worked long and hard to get an opportunity at a new account, you’ve asked for every favor you can to get the discount level approved to make the deal happen, and finally, you’ve been awarded the business, but don’t stop working now — this is the most important part. That’s because, the real work starts after you make the sale. The next few steps you take, are either going to make, or break, your opportunity to get more business in the account over the next few years. Top sales reps and leaders know this, and that’s why they plan meticulously so that everyone understands timelines, as well as set expectations for everyone involved in the project. I like to call this, “The follow through stage,” and if you can master this segment of the sale, you’re going to be very, very, successful, without a doubt.
So let me help you out, by sharing some of my go-to tips that I use after I make the initial sale, to provide clients with the best communication experience possible. The best part about the suggestions I’m sharing, is that they’re all really simple to do. Be sure to use them all together to create an incredible experience that customers will rave to their friends about for years to come.
Use a spreadsheet.
Lay out everything, add columns as needed, add rows as needed, and use this document as your main means of keeping everyone updated. At anytime, anyone involved with the project needs to be able to view the spreadsheet, and get up to the minute information.
When are you going to deliver, when are you going to install, when are you going to perform the updates. If only you know the information, it doesn’t do anyone else involved in the project any good. Set firm timelines, and do everything you can to adhere to them.
Keep everyone informed.
It’s business, things are going to change, timelines may get moved forward, or backward — it’s ok, but what’s not ok, is not informing everyone of the changes. Be way out in front with your communications so everyone knows exactly what’s going on, and when.
Have the proper resources ready.
If you need to have a pre-conference call to knock out some of the easy stuff, make plans to do so. If special support people need to be involved onsite, make sure they’re aware of what’s happening, when it’s happening, and lock them in to be onsite when needed.
Don’t take anything, or anyone, for granted. Follow up on everything, and then follow up on it again. If you don’t get a response, ping the person and make sure they received the update. I always say, “The fortune is in the follow up,” and boy does this absolutely hold true.
As you can see, everything that I’ve shared above, has to do with communication. That’s because communication is the keystone to everything we do as human beings. Without good communication on your business projects, you’re really going to be setting yourself up for a negative experience. No communication, is bad communication. At all costs, always be an excellent communicator, and always remember, the real work starts after you make the sale.