Sales Coaching Blog

Sales Rep Behaviors that Predict Customer Loyalty

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

October 4, 2010

Our Pillar Partner, Brookeside Analytics, has identified sales rep behaviors that predict customer loyalty. These are an extension of the Employee's loyalty predictive index - a study conducted by Harvard at AT&T.

About Loyalty

Loyal \ˈli(-ə)l\ A long-term, mutually beneficial partnership that might receive your first and/or last look.

Brookeside Analytics measured numerous behaviors demonstrated by thousands of individuals and organizations and found that only 6 behaviorsare most responsible for building and maintaining true loyalty among customers and clientale. 

The first two behaviors are those that customers EXPECT from you. They will not set your products or services apart from your customers (unless the behaviors are absent!). So they merely satify the minimum criteria for a relationship.  

Integrity   Are You Fair, Honest, Ethical & Trustworthy with your Customers?

Customers and clients expect you to be honest and ethical with them; just as they expect you to offer them a fair value or the best possible price.

Best Practices:

Review your sales messages and marketing materials to see how often you try to get credit for being fair, honest, and ethical -- remember, Integrity is not a "bonus", your customers expect it!

When you make a mistake, readily admit it and rectify it. Your honesty will earn you more points than your attempt to cover it up or defend it. "In the end, it's the brands themselves that will suffer if they violate the trust they have built with consumers, businesses and the government," one member of the Toyota PR team recently told Gallup about Toyota's recent troubles.

Competency     Doing What You Say You Can Do for Your Customers

Being competent is necessary in order to build loyal relationships, and your clients and customers expect you to be competent. It's not an added bonus.

Best Practice:

Examine how you position yourself and your organization. Do you attempt to gain credit for the things your clients already expect from you?

Recognition   Do You See Your Client as a Unique Individuals, or are they one of a List?

Before a customer will be loyal to you, they need to know that you recognize them and truly know who they are. Everyone is unique and wants to be treated this way, even if your "customer" is a company, your contacts there want to feel their company special to yours.

Best Practice:

Don't think of your customer relationships in the collective sense. Remove the plural from your thoughts and references; "customer" not "customers". See if this changes the way you think and behave with them.

Savvy   Do You Know What Your Customer Really Wants?

Savvy is truly understanding what your customers care about, what concerns them, and what their greatest challenges are. It is also about knowing what motivates them to seek you out.

Best Practice:

Ignore the obvious and dig deep to get to what what client ultimately wants. This is tricky, because most people don't readily share what they really want. In fact, they may not even be aware of it.

Ask questions. Keep learning. You'll need to work hard to earn their trust to uncover true motivations.

Proactivity  Do you Anticipate & Act On what Your Customer Needs?

 Proactivity is an action that requires knowing what your clients and customers need and want. In order for a loyal relationship to develop, you must anticipate what the client wants and act on it, even before they have told you. This will wow them; you will be seen as a partner who truly understands them, has their best interest a heart, and is concerned about their success now and into the future. 

Best Practice:

Keep notes as you pick up on themes. Take the time to brainstorm on what they have told you - "what is s/he really telling me?"

Brainstorm what you could do for your clients without having to ask them.

Chemistry   Does your Customer Enjoy Working with You? 

In order for someone to be loyal to you and your business over the long haul, they must like working with you. Chemistry is about great and memorable experiences. And these must be created.

Best Practices:

Remember that even the little things can jump out as memorable touches. Look through the eyes of your customers for the touches that can create an enjoyable experience.

Anyone and everything has the potential to help create an enjoyable experience for your customer. Take the opportunity to be their champion.

To learn more about Brookeside's Research, including a copy of the white paper "Creating Willing Buyers" click here 

Bookeside Analytics will be our featured instructor at our November Sales Management Webinar titled:

"A Better Way to Grow Your Revenue"

Overview:

In this month's sales manager webinar, EcSELL Institute's Pillar Partner, Brookeside Analytics, will explore how companies can substantially grow their revenue by taking a relationship-focused approach to sales. It goes on to explain the criteria upon which companies are judged, and provides a real life example of how a company used a customer driven approach to dramatically grow their business.  VISIT OUR SUMMITS AND EDUCATION section of our website and click on the November Sales Management Webinar for details.

 

 

Sources:

EcSELL Institute Partner: Brookeside Analytics

William J. McEwen (Aug. 2010). "You Messed Up -- Admit it". Gallup Management Journal.

Topics: sales producer, Best Practice, Customer Service, Leadership & Management, Pillars, Sales Management, partners, Resources for sales managers

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