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Dear Jeffrey, I sell copiers in NYC, and this year I finished as the No. 1 rep in the nation. I truly believe that would not have been possible had it not been for your Little Red Book of Selling. I do have a question and would greatly appreciate your advice. Recently, I have been noticing a high turnover of people (including executives) at my accounts. When this happens it’s almost like the reset button has been pressed and the replacements have no allegiance to me or my service and are usually unaware as to how hard I’ve worked to earn their company’s business. How should I conduct myself when I know there is a new person in a company I have to work with? Is there a specific process I should follow?
Common problem. Uncommon answer to follow.
Loss of key contact (the person that buys from you) happens often in business, and most salespeople (not you of course) are totally unprepared for it.
There are two variations to this scenario:
1. Someone is promoted from within. If you’ve done your homework, built multiple relationships within your customer’s company, and you know the replacement, then you should be fine. If you don’t know him, you have to scramble and start over.
2. Someone was hired from the outside. This is basically a start-over situation and all the answers you need are stated below.
There are 5.5 specific things you can do to prevent a total tragedy. NONE OF THEM are options.
1. Start with prevention. This is a major point of understanding: You have to ask yourself, “What would happen, what would I do, if all my prime contacts left tomorrow?” Begin to plan and act from there.
2. Then ask yourself … How is the purchase made? Discover the chain of purchase, and know everyone who impacts purchase. Add them to your CRM notes.
Who’s the boss? Get to know the boss and make sure they know your value.
Who are the users? Talk to and meet with the people that USE your product or service. They are not the ones who purchase, but they can play a major role in the decision to purchase. And they tell the real story of quality and service response.
Who else is influenced by or involved with your product? When you meet, add others from the inside. Get to know co-workers.