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Why Honoring Your Current Clients is Vital to Your Pipeline

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This is the full funnel freedom podcast, supporting sales leaders, and managers to improve their sales funnels from people to prospects. I'm Hamish Knox. In this show, you'll learn how you can improve your results. Lead a great team and hit more targets with full funnel freedom. Welcome to episode seven of the full funnel freedom podcast.
I'm your host. Hamish Knox. In this episode, I will be sharing ideas and insights on why honoring your current clients is vital to your pipeline. In a previous episode, I spent a lot of time. Talking about creating full funnel freedom through existing clients. When a lot of listeners might've thought that I'd be spending a lot of time talking about cold prospecting, but there's that cliche about?

It's easier to sell stuff to people who are already buying from you, which is cliche for a reason, because there is a grain of truth to it. So we encourage our clients to date their clients. Now, not in that way. Have a consistent regular series of check-ins per an agreed upon cadence and previous episode.

I also mentioned that quarterly review check-in that is a bare, bare minimum at a minimum. We are connecting with our decision-makers for a separate business. Focused review once a quarter, which could be as short as 15 minutes person on my team, who was the CEO of an organization here in Calgary years ago actually had one of my clients.

Set up a quarterly review with them. They didn't know that my client was working with me and I didn't know the story until I joined the team, but the way they shared it was this client of mine was earning my team members business over from a competitor of theirs. So once they had signed the deal and, and my team member, who was a CEO at the time was brought in right at the end to sign off on the agreement, they said, To my team member, the CEO at the time, Hey, we have this best practice where we do our quarterly review every 90 days.

It's with you. It's 15 minutes only. It's usually by phone. So whether you're in an airport somewhere here in Calgary, it's a very brief connection. And my team member said, well, you know what? Just talk to my manager for that. I'm on a plane here, there, and everywhere. I don't know if I'm going to have time.

And my client very keenly said, well, that's fair. Tell me again, why you're switching over from your current provider and my team member, who was the CEO at the time said, well, it's because I only get brought in when there's a fire that needs to be put out. And my client said, yeah, we'd kind of like to avoid that and right away the light dark.

In my team members' eyes. And they said, you know what? Absolutely. Okay. Let's get it in the calendar. And as they've shared with me and with our clients, sometimes they were in an airport somewhere around the world, sometime they were at their office in Calgary, but they always had that call. So as I've said in previous episodes, they could address any issues at 10% instead of at 90%, because when an issue gets to 90.

Someone's already made a decision, thinking your own personal life. If you've got to the point where an issue is at 90%, maybe it's with your dishwasher, maybe it's with a personal relationship. When an issue gets to 90%, you have made a decision and you are unlikely to change that decision, even though.

Little bit of 10%. They're highly unlikely that you're going to change your mind at that point. So that's a minimum. However, we have high touch clients and we have low touch clients, right? We have clients who want to hear from us. We might think every day, it's probably more like every week and we have clients.

Basically never want to hear from us and like my team member, when they heard about this whole quarterly review thing, they're kind of like, okay, fine if I have to, but we have this series of check-ins per an agreed upon cadence. So as we are onboarding our new client, we want to say. One of our policies to create successful long-term relationships with our clients is to have a regular series of check-ins.

Now some of our clients only want to have our quarterly review meeting. Some of our clients would like to hear us on a more regular basis, which would you like to do? And very similar to my comment in the previous episode about when our clients are pulling us forward. We can't be pushy salespeople. The same idea works here.

So if we have a client who is super high touch and they want to have a phone call every week to check in great, let's do that. That may sound overwhelming to you. If your salespeople are managing I'll whole bunch of clients, but really only a small percentage of your clients are really going to want to have this high touch.

However, If we do this, they're going to stick around and we are going to create additional opportunities through those accounts, whether they're through introductions or whether they are through expansion of that existing. A key activity in honoring our clients is to give them introductions, trusted advisors, that ultimate pinnacle, that salespeople aspire to be give their clients introductions.

You know, we had a client several years ago, business owner, we brought this idea up in a session and they said, well, I can't make introductions for my clients. And we said, Why do you say that? And they said, well, I don't know anybody who could be a prospect for one of my clients. And I said, Hey, fair enough.

Out of curiosity, who is your typical contact at your client organizations? You know, what's their title on their business card? And my client said, well, it's the CEO. Awesome. You know what? I bet those CEOs are looking for it, services, insurance, office supplies, and they may not ultimately be the person who ends up signing the agreement for those services.

But those are challenges that their people are bringing to them to be solved. And I bet if you could solve a challenge for them that doesn't directly put money in your own pocket, your credibility is going to go. And that is really, really accurate when we can give our clients introductions to solve challenges that they are facing in their business where we're not asking them to directly buy from us.

Our credibility goes up in a really big way. And this creates a layer of stickiness because when our competitors bang on the door and they say, Hey, you know, we want to give you this smoking hot deal, or we've got this new service that your current provider doesn't offer. There's this little extra connection in our client's mind where they think, yeah.

You know what? That sounds like a really great idea. But Hamish gives me these introductions to my business that have really helped me out. And he just did it to support me as opposed to actually getting any sort of a commission on a sale. I think I'm going to ignore that and stick with him. Now, this is not a perfect scenario, right?

This is certainly stickiness, but it's not hurricane. Just because we're giving our clients introductions does not mean that we are going to keep them long-term and if we're not dating them right. If we're not consistently checking in on them, how are they doing showing interest in their business eventually like in a personal relationship?

They might start feeling taken for granted. And just as people tend to leave employers because they start to feel taken for granted. That's when clients start to be more open to the overtures from our competitors is when they start to feel taken for granted. So with each of your sales, Encourage them to go three wide and three deep in all of their client organizations.

What that means is they have their primary contact. They have their direct supervisor. They have the person directly below their primary contact in the organization, whether that person reports to their primary contact or not. And to peers of their primary contact in the organization who they have a bit of a relationship with a friend of mine.

Told me once, about how, when he was in the insurance business, the president of one of his big accounts had an office right at the front door of their building. So whenever he would walk into the building to meet with his primary contacts, he would stop by the president's office and wave and say, oh, Hey, hello, let's call the president.

Dave and Dave would pop his head up and wave back, of course, because this was a big account and a very well-known logo in my friend's area. It was under constant competitive attack. So he said that he had asked his primary contacts one time, like, why do you stick with me? I'm not the cheapest. You're always under competitive attack.

And they said, oh, it's because you have a great relationship with the precedent. Like, well, didn't exactly have a great relationship with the president, but the optics were that because. My friend was stopping by the president's office and the president was at least acknowledging him. He had this great relationship with them.

So if your salespeople do not have three wide, three deep relationships in each of their key accounts, make that a priority for them this quarter. So you can lock down there. Key accounts. This is also has another benefit because when a new person comes in, let's say their primary contact leaves and this new person comes in well, when a new person comes in to an organization, especially in a more senior role, they have.

Uh, goal to prove to their new employer, that their new employer made the right decision in hiring them. And that's often when they start to look around making changes. So if we don't have three wide, three deep, very easy for one of our salespeople to get a call from a new contact at a key account that says, yeah, you know, We're putting this out to bid, or we're going to switch.

Thanks very much for your help, but no need to call us back. Whereas instead, if this new person gets in the role and everybody who they talk to says, oh, you've got to go talk to Hamish over at this company because he's really awesome. Well, that keeps our. Funnel full and reduces the amount of net new business that our salespeople have to go pursue because they're reducing churn in the organization.

Now, the. Way that honoring our clients creates full funnel freedom. And our organization is actually a phrase that my friend Regan shared with me recently, which is you win before you win by creating. Three wide, three deep, real rapport, supporting our clients, being genuinely interested, not only in the part of the business where we can support the man, but also in even their personal interests.

And when we can start sharing articles or resources related to. Primary contacts, personal interest that we found where we send it to them and say, Hey, I thought you'd appreciate this. We create that level of rapport so that we can win before we win. So when our clients are having an internal conversation and they're saying, well, we need a resource for this, or we need support with this.

They say, yeah, you know what? That's great. We just need to give Hamish's company a call cause he can help us out with that. When we are looking at creating full funnel freedom in our organizations, our current clients are vital to this because they're already buying from us. They already theoretically love us.

And if we are consistently following a cadence of connection, we're dating them. We're showing genuine interest in them. We're making introductions for them that support their business outside of the services and products that we provide. It is much easier for us to create full funnel freedom. This has been episode seven of the full funnel freedom podcast.

Why honoring your current client is vital to your pipeline. I've been your host Hamish Knox until we connect on the next episode, go create full funnel frail. Thank you for listening to full funnel freedom with Amish. If you want to increase your sales with ease, go to full funnel, freedom.com.