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There’s no rest for the tireless sales rep, even when the deal is finally signed. Throughout the sales process, your goal as a rep is to build trust and create a strong relationship with a prospect. But what happens to your relationship with that same person now that she is a customer? If you don’t maintain and build on that trust, you risk losing her hard-won business later on.

The best sales reps aren’t napping after they close the deal – they are able to maintain and grow relationships with new customers long afterwards. Interacting with customers doesn’t just help keep your customer churn rate low, it can also help increase revenue. Here is how you can maintain the customer relationship, create happier customers and leverage that relationship to close even more business.

During the Sale

Creating a lasting customer relationship starts long before you close the deal. During the selling process, reps set the stage for the future customer relationship by how they interact with prospects. If a prospect asks for specific features or capabilities that the product cannot deliver, you shouldn’t lie or promise the impossible. You may close the deal today, but you’re almost guaranteed a dissatisfied customer later on. Sales reps should never exaggerate the capabilities of a product, even if it costs them the whole deal. You want to build an honest and positive sales relationship from the very start, or the customer relationship will sour quickly. If you’re honest and your product meets or surpasses the customer expectations set during the sales process, you’ll see happier, more satisfied customers.

Build Loyalty

After you’ve closed the sale and delivered on the promises you’ve made, ask yourself “What do my clients really want from me?” If you’ve built a positive relationship during the sale, you want that to continue post-sale. Most reps hand off their new customer to account management or customer service representatives, but that doesn’t mean you should completely cut off all contact with the customer. Even though you trust other people on your team to onboard the new customer, it’s still a great idea to check in occasionally to discuss their happiness and experience so far. This attentiveness to their needs is all about building loyalty – customers will be impressed with your dedication and concern for their happiness. If your customer is happy and satisfied with the product, it will drive down churn, since happy customers have no reason to leave.

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Look for the Upsell

If you didn’t keep in touch with a new customer, you’ve missed out on a huge opportunity for revenue: the upsell. By continuing to talk to a customer after the sale, you now have the chance to offer more products or services to help their business at a higher price. When done right, upselling can produce significantly more revenue than you can get from signing new customers alone – and all with a lot less effort on your part. It’s much easier to engage with an existing customer than with a cold lead, and it’s a much easier sell if you already have a happy customer on your hands. You can offer them a higher level of service for a higher price, and help to drive up your overall Average Selling Price (ASP) and bring in more revenue for your company. By forgetting to upsell, you’re leaving money on the table.

Get a Referral

The best customer relationships are the ones that keep on giving. The greatest benefit of building a positive relationship with customers is getting the ultimate compliment: a referral. If your customers truly love your company and your product, they’ll tell their friends and colleagues at other companies about their experience. Ideally, they will refer new prospects your way, essentially handing you new business for free. Referrals are much better leads than the typical cold leads brought in through email or advertising – they already know about your company and are willing to learn more. In fact, you’re much more likely to close a deal with a prospect that came in from a referral.

Not every sales rep is interested in customer service, but all of sales is about creating and keeping happy customers. By building a strong relationship from the start of the sale and ensuring they become happy customers, you can find opportunities for new business at every turn.

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