We all know we have to proactively grow our existing client relationships, we know we need to pick up the phone and talk to them about new opportunities, introduce new people, talk about other solutions the client could benefit from. We know we need to do it but the question is ‘when is the best time to do this?’ Now I have been giving this some thought recently as more and more of the training that we do is on giving people the confidence to be proactive in their approach to selling. There are certainly some times that I think are less effective:
- At the beginning of working on a project – have you earned the right?
- At the end of project – maybe too late
- When you haven’t spoken for ages – tough to be relevant
But there is one time I think is most effective and that is in when you are in the middle of a project. Why is this such a good time? Because you can normalise the process as part of the general conversations that you are having. So what are our tips for you to make the most of this time when you are in full flow working with your clients:
- Ask them what next they are working on
- Ask them to walk the floor with you when you are on-site
- Ask about what is was about your proposal that made them choose you for this project
- Ask about what else you could get involved in
- Ask about their business and their challenges
- Ask about what’s important to them over the next 6 months
- Ask for feedback on how things are going and what you could do more of to improve
- Ask if there is anyone else in the business that you could talk to
- Introduce, during conversations, your experience in other areas so they do not pigeon hole you
- Give points of view on what you think they are good at as a business and where you think they are missing a trick
All of the above can feel salesy at any other time than in the middle of working together. The best advise we can give you is that if all of your team do a bit of the above during every project they are working on, think about how many more opportunities you could develop.