Sales is like a high stakes dance that you have with your prospects. With any luck (and skill), this dance will lead you to a sale. As a top sales producer, one of the most annoying things that can happen is your prospect backs out after the close. We will be dividing this topic into to section and addressing each one in turn. The first will be on how to win your own customers back, and the second will be on how to win someone else’s customers back.
When you go into retention sales call, you need to be more delicate and gentle with the customer. They’ve heard whatever standard pitch that the previous rep had shilled. You need to differentiate yourself from everyone else who has called. What you need to do to truly succeed in retention sales is put on your customer service hat and politely ask why they cancelled. That’s it. Why did you cancel? It’s an open ended question if you get someone talking long enough they will tell you not only why they cancelled, but also reveal their buying motives.
The nice thing about a retention call is that you are not going to deal a whole lot with whether the cancelling customer is a good fit for the product or service. Usually you’ll find yourself jumping right into objections after hearing their cancel reasoning. Top sales reps do well in these situations, and will often find themselves closer to the close at the beginning of the call.
How to Win Your Own Customers Back
The business world is brutal. One of the best things you can do is slow or stop the loss of your own Customers. You’ve put in the work. You understand them and their needs, and you have a working relationship with them. With this in mind, you already have an advantage over your competition. Here are some typical situations, and what to do with them.d
The customer has moved on because they have found a better deal elsewhere- You’ll hear this all of the time. The good news here is that no matter what your client has been promised by your competition, they are still moving from you (a know quantity) to someone else (an unknown quantity). You must leverage fear of the unknown against your customers decision to jump ship. You should try telling.
Sometimes YOU are the problem. You can be the best sales representative in the world, but if you deal with enough people eventually something is going to go wrong. If you find yourself in this particular situation the best thing to do is own it. You have to own it even if it is not directly your fault.
The most common cause of this for inexperienced sales reps is when they don’t respond to a customers correspondence or voicemail in a timely fashion. What you need to do in this situation is let them know that you know that they have been calling and that you were on vacation or something of that ilk and tell them that you are committed to making it right. Usually they will forgive you.
They have been slighted by your company, but not you directly. This is a pretty common one. I have had someone making a low wage call behind one of my customers to initiate a product consultation, and they totally botch the sale up. They don’t think about introducing objections. They could say something along the lines of “well this product usually takes two months to work”. This plants the seed of doubt in your customers head. You must return their call or email promptly. Communication is everything.
You’ll need to explain to them that the person doesn’t understand the ins and outs of the program or package, and address the confusion. I’d say something like “I understand the confusion. When I spoke with you earlier we had discussed how we ramp the product up in order to do ad split testing. This ensures that you get the very best ROI.” If all else fails. Throw the company under the bus. If you do this, then the company is the bad cop and you are the good cop. A lot of retention is just sympathizing and siding with your customer.
Winning Another Representatives Customers Back
I love to call on another reps customers. You just need to go into it with the mindset of you are better than the previous rep who had called. The advice listed above is still totally accurate here. What you do not want to do though is throw the other rep under the bus if it can at all be helped. It never sounds professional. So, whatever you do don’t open with this: “why’d you cancel, was it a issue with your rep?”
In fact, it’s a good idea to never open by feeding a customer an objection. You’ll see a lot of reps open by doing this, espescially the price objection. “Did it cost to much money?” Please don’t do that. All you do when you open by mentioning the price is signal to the person on the other end of the line that you are able to offer a discount is ensuring that you aren’t going to increase their spend. You’ll be lucky to keep it the same.
Just keep an ear open. Try and solve whatever problems that the customer may have, and you’ll be on your way to retaining your customer base.