4 Signs You’re on Track to Putting Clients First Blog Feature
Steve Bookbinder

By: Steve Bookbinder on October 1st, 2015

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4 Signs You’re on Track to Putting Clients First

client relationship building

It’s incredibly easy for sellers and their managers to get caught up in their own internal concerns and priorities.

One thing is for certain—all of that internal stuff can be a major distraction from being laser focused on clients instead.

If you’re not fully engaged with clients, it’s almost impossible to accomplish any meaningful sales objectives. And since everyone has competition, if you’re not incredibly close to your clients, then somebody else is…

Constant and productive engagement with clients is the only way that a salesperson can control his or her own destiny.

Running in first

If you can check off each of the following 4 items, you’re doing a great job of putting your clients first.

1. You know and understand your clients’ businesses on a very deep level.

Very few clients care as much about your business objectives compared to their own.

And most clients resent salespeople who display little or no genuine knowledge about what they, the client, are trying to accomplish.

It’s not enough for a salesperson to merely express “interest” in a client’s business—it’s more about studying and researching the trends and issues and figuring out the connection to what they’re offering to that respective client.

Clients are looking for partners not just salespeople—let that be the “point of the compass” that directs you in accomplishing this critical objective.

3. Your clients call you about business matters that don’t necessarily pertain to what you sell.

For example, when a store owner asks you about potential locations for expansion and you’re not selling commercial real estate…that’s a good thing.

Or when a client asks you if you know about any great accounting software and you’re not a “bean counter” yourself, that means they value your opinion and input.

These kinds of inquiries simply indicate that the client values your insight, intellect, and credibility far beyond the basic buyer/seller relationship.

You have become your client’s partner!

3. Your clients have recommended or referred people in their circle to connect with you.

At this point, you have repeatedly demonstrated so many positive traits that your client feels absolutely comfortable bringing you into their valued circle of contacts and business associates.

If a client feels that there is any risk whatsoever in recommending or referring you, then it simply will not happen.

Why would they jeopardize a relationship with someone else just to promote you?

That’s not going to happen.

This level of the buyer/seller relationship is earned not requested. But guess what? This means your client has become your agent!

4. Your clients are outspoken advocates for you and the products/services that you sell.

Achieving this plateau will require the seller to maximize the customer service experience for a given client.

In most organizations, once the sale is made, some sort of sales service entity becomes the primary interface with the client.

As a salesperson, don’t make the mistake of “handing off” your client.

You need to make sure that whoever is in charge of “delivering the goods” does so to the specifications of the deal.  If the client feels shortchanged, guess who takes the ultimate blame?

Clients appreciate great service simply because it’s so rare.

Standing out from your competition here is a major opportunity to impact clients in a very positive way. If you achieve this objective, your client becomes your promoter!

It’s highly unlikely that you were able to check all four with complete honesty for all of your key clients.

That’s okay. It simply means that there’s room for improvement.

“Master sellers”, who can check them all, got there by investing serious time and effort to build client relationships. So it’s time to put your clients first.

Take Client Relationships to the Next Level - Start Here

About the Author


Buff Parham is a widely recognized thought leader and outstanding coach in the media sales and sales management field. With 35 years of sales experience, Buff has worked at Univision, FOX, Belo, ABC and CBS. He believes that hard work matters and that raising the bar and having greater expectations tend to generate greater results. In his spare time, Buff finds cooking and playing golf to be two of the best therapies for a somewhat hectic existence!

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Check out Buff’s Blog www.BuffParham.com

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About Steve Bookbinder

Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining. He has delivered more than 5,000 workshops and speeches to clients all over the world and has trained, coached, and managed more than 50,000 salespeople and managers. Steve continuously refreshes his training content to reflect his latest first-hand observations of salespeople across industries and regions. Through him, participants in his workshops and coaching sessions learn the best practices of today’s most successful sellers and managers across industries. Steve understands that sales is a competitive game. To outperform competitors and our own personal best results, we need to out-prospect, out-qualify, out-present and out-negotiate everyone else, not merely know how to sell. Through his specialty programs in Pipeline Management, Personal Marketing, Great First Meetings, 2nd-level Questioning, Sales Negotiating, and Sales Coaching, Steve trains sales teams to master the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face in today’s world… and keep improving results year over year.

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