3 Tips for Nurturing Prospective Client Relationships
Nurturing a prospective client relationship over the long term is one of the most effective sales strategies, and also one of the most difficult. The amount of time and energy required can be substantial, but when it pays off you’ve gained a client/customer that is genuinely excited to be doing business with you, and positively convinced that you can best serve their needs. If your nurturing strategies have been less than successful lately, try these three tips:
1. Focus on the Human Element
So much of the sales process these days has been integrated with technology and automated, that it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that human salespeople still sell to human customers. Technology is a great way to nurture client relationships, but if you’re entirely dependent on it, you’re compromising your efforts. Take the time to make a phone call, to write a handwritten note, to extend a lunch invitation, or to send a gift around the holidays. These personal touches still matter, and they demonstrate to your potential clients that they are more than just data in a system.
2. Solve Your Client’s Problems
The hard sell never works in a client-nurturing strategy. After all, what prospective client is going to reach out to you knowing that all they’ll be getting is a sales pitch? The better approach is to figure out what your client’s problems are, how your products/services can solve those problems, and how you can offer a tailored solution. At each step of the nurturing process, emphasize that you have a unique understanding of your client’s problems and a unique solution to offer. At the very least, this breeds curiosity.
3. Make Every Impression Count
Nurturing a client relationship takes time and consistency. You may have made a good first impression, and second and third, but if on the fourth you come off as rude, evasive, ill-informed, or disengaged, whatever goodwill you’ve built up will go out the window. This may seem obvious, but-given the extended nature of the nurturing process-it can be easy to lose sight of how many times you will interact with the client, and how many points of contact you will have before the sale actually happens. Make sure that each one of them counts.
As you seek to improve your nurturing strategy, it helps to evaluate who is doing the nurturing. A great strategy in the wrong hands will never deliver the results you’re looking for. As you fine-tune your sales tactics, consider fine-tuning your sales force as well. Start by contacting the sales recruiting experts at Artemis Consulting.