The Many Forms of Customer Attention
by Alfred Lautenslager

Many of us are involved in giving our top 5 accounts plenty of attention. During their/our busy times we visit them to "take orders." Sometimes much of our day can be consumed with fighting fires or taking orders or working on an administrative task that we sometimes forget to give our customers "selling attention." This attention does not have to be in the form of a hard sell call. This attention doesn't have to be in the form of the many projects that we meet about. This attention is the attention that we must pay all customers in order to maintain our top of mind awareness, maintain our good relationships and to truly be at their service when they need us most.

When working with newer sales members or consulting with other sales and marketing teams, I see too many times, sales reps hiding behind the phone or hiding behind an email. Recently in our company we started hand-delivering quotes, returning phone calls with a personal visit and just showing up for no invited reason. That's "sales attention".

Here are 30 reasons to call on a customer. Try them if you're not using them and take it one step beyond…try them on a prospect. You'd be surprised at your results and your new relationships that emerge:

  1. Drop off a flyer or brochure outlining a special offer
     
  2. Drop off the newest brochure, stuffer or product sheet
     
  3. Deliver free products, i.e. free notepads
     
  4. Deliver coupons
     
  5. Drop off a premium giveaway or free gift ( pens, mouse pads, books, etc.)
     
  6. Deliver an article reprint about your company or authored by an employee
     
  7. Deliver a postcard asking them to visit your website
     
  8. Drop off the latest press release
     
  9. Introduce a new employee in person
     
  10. Introduce customer service teams via profiles and printed fact sheets
     
  11. Deliver the most recent newsletter in person
     
  12. Offer free envelopes or free excess inventory with a ribbon tied around it
     
  13. Introduce your boss or the owner of the company
     
  14. Drop off a proof
     
  15. Deliver an order yourself
     
  16. Pick up an order
     
  17. Drop off pre-formatted order forms
     
  18. Offer a new product or new service announcement in person
     
  19. Take donuts, baked goods or bagels as treats
     
  20. Provide good customers, tickets to a sports or theatrical event
     
  21. Deliver samples of similar jobs
     
  22. Introduce self to new employee at customer
     
  23. Share a page of your favorite websites with your customer
     
  24. Deliver an afternoon snack of popcorn or other snack food
     
  25. Deliver an article of interest you found in the press
     
  26. Deliver a copy of the news where your customer appeared
     
  27. Hand deliver a thank you note
     
  28. Hand deliver a quote on a project
     
  29. Present a customer appreciation plaque or award
     
  30. Present a survey to your customer

There are more ideas and reasons to visit a customer that are not mentioned here. These ideas work and are even requested by customers. Also be sure to ask a customer, how often and why they would like to see sales representation. Customer attention is vital, especially during tougher economic times. Remember your best prospect is a current customer.

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