Almost all salespeople who become certified in the Action Selling system see their performance improve, often dramatically. But for some, the performance boost is downright spectacular. They don’t just win new customers, they gain far more business from existing accounts. Their clients come to see them not only as excellent salespeople but as valuable business partners. They forge bonds that competitors can’t break, no matter what discounts or special services they offer.
These salespeople become black-belts…masters of customer loyalty. They are elite even among Action Selling-certified professionals. What makes the difference? In a word, consistency.
Masters use the system consistently, on every single call.
Some salespeople seem to recognize intuitively that Action Selling is not just an effective sales-approach but a communication system that allows them to build stronger, more productive relationships with clients. They don’t ‘work the system’ only with new prospects. They use it effectively and consistently in every call on every client, no matter how long-established the account.
This means, for example, that they never call on an established account just to “check in.” They always have a commitment objective. They always do an Act 2, cementing a personal relationship with the client. Crucially, no matter how well they think they know the account, they always do an Act 3, asking the “best questions” about emerging problems and opportunities in the client’s business. They always do an Act 5, “selling” their own company to the client by mentioning new offerings and other developments.
Above all, they never stop looking for ways to become more valuable to their clients. Mainly through questioning skills, but also by orchestrating their own companies’ resources on the client’s behalf, they act like business partners rather than just salespeople.
A “salesperson” represents a supplier that can be useful for addressing particular needs in particular ways—as can other suppliers. A business partner is committed to the client’s success every day, in every phase of the client’s operation where the partner can possibly be helpful.
A salesperson who becomes that kind of partner, forges a bond that is very difficult to break. The client begins to turn a deaf ear to the salesperson’s competitors, not because their products and services and prices aren’t attractive, but because the relationship is too valuable to give up.
The only genuinely “loyal” customers your company has are those who have effectively gone deaf to your competitors’ appeals. The only thing that creates such customers—and keeps them over the long term—is a strong sales-relationship. The only reliable way to forge relationships strong enough is to use a systematic relationship-building approach—and practice it consistently.
Action Selling In Action
Alan Reynolds, southeast region sales-manager of Anthony Liftgates, shares this story of how he reclaimed a lost customer following Action Selling training:
“I realized that we needed to pay attention to every aspect of the customer relationship with this national account. Even though we had lost them, I continued to treat them as if they were my account by solving issues that they had in the field.”
“Action Selling reminded me how important it was for me to ‘orchestrate’ selling and service activities. I kept our team of customer service reps on high alert for serving this customer’s repair needs. In addition, I organized meetings between our executive team and their VPs and president.”
Even though Anthony Liftgates’ products were considerably more expensive and the warranty was the same, Alan won back the account that the competitor had taken away. His comment: “The skills of Action Selling allow me to forge relationships that win and keep customers.”
Contact us for information about how to turn your salespeople into masters of loyalty.
ABOUT DUANE SPARKS
Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).
Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).