Okay, here is another golf anecdote. For all you non-golfers, I promise to make this relevant to your sales success. Golfer Phil Mickelson fired his long time coach last weekend. Yesterday, Mickelson won the US Players Championship. Phil will be the first one to tell you he got a lot out of his old coach, yet he either learned everything the coach had to offer or he needed to learn other things the coach wasn’t covering. Either way, the impact was not the same so a change was required.
As a sales executive, did you ever look at yourself as a coach to your customers? If not, you may want to reconsider that. Coaches find out the goals of their clients and the obstacles they face. They act as confidantes and provide a learning experience that enables the client to explore new ways of doing things and getting better results. Isn’t that what sales is all about? Helping your customers learn new ways of achieving better results and showing them how to do it.
If you ever lose business again from an existing customer, ask yourself where did the relationship start to lose its value for the customer? Did the customer feel they have maximized their results with you and that the competition offered better results? Did you take the customer for granted and stop doing the things you did to get the business in the first place? Often, when a customer goes to the competition, it is usually for reasons that a coach on top of things could handle and prevent.
Has your customer fired their coach lately?