Don’t Be Taken Hostage! Protect Your Customer Base Now.
A few years ago, a client of ours was being held hostage by their sales representatives. Demanding a higher commission structure and raises, the sales reps were threatening to not only leave the company, but also take their customers with them if their conditions were not met. The client was in hot water, and it was his own fault. He had failed to properly manage his customer base personally.
As a business owner, you must safeguard and manage your valued customer base. This is a process that involves getting out from behind your desk, focusing on the customer relationship with your business, and not having that relationship exist solely with your sales representatives.
Start building personal relationships by regularly reaching out to your customers, and taking an active interest in understanding and meeting their needs.
Encourage sales performance by actively managing your sales representatives, promoting increased results with a pay-for-performance program, and protecting your customer base through non-disclosure and non-compete agreements for your staff. These are your customers, not the sales reps customers. Let me repeat: these customers belong to you. Reps should be rewarded for customer procurement, but not be left solely responsible for retention.
In my experience, taking a leading role in the development of your customer base and the management of your sales representatives will positively impact your brand image, secure your customers, and increase your sales performance.