We’ve lost a big client to an upstart rival. What do we do?

Dear Aunty B,

We have just lost a really big client to a new upstart that doesn’t even know what it’s doing. We are at a complete loss to know why we lost the account. It wasn’t price or service as they kept telling us that we gave them great service. The only intelligence we were given was that “we had got used to them and it was time for a change.” 

This is about 18% of our revenue and came out of the blue so I am off to drown my sorrows while you answer this.

KT,
Brisbane

Dear KT,

I feel your pain! You bust a gut, you give your all and then the buggers decide to go and spend their money with someone else. Look, maybe the upstart’s new accountant is your client’s son. Who really knows if there are outside issues at play? But what you can do to make sure it is nothing at your end is this: Train your sales people to see the customer as new – all the time.

It is amazing how we can sign someone up, stick ’em in the system and forget about them. It’s business as usual right? But what if we trained our sales people to think of our existing clients with the same love and devotion we had when we first signed them?

You know what happens. You ask about a client and your people say they are fine! But what if you asked a different question? What if you asked how much love the client had got that week? What if your sales people went home at night and instead of thinking the client is fine, they obsess about how they can improve the service, what they can do to solve current and future client problems and most of all, how to make the life of the customer easier?

Always remember there is a competitor out there who is hungrily licking their lips at your client that you think is fine.

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

 

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