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Your competitors are doing everything possible to try and lure your best customers AWAY FROM YOU and your company.
They have their business development mavericks going into your best customers’ establishments every week offering them anything to get them to switch. Some of the largest distributors are offering upfront money if they would switch the business over to them.
Most DSRs and distributors take their best customers for granted. What are you doing to keep them?
Most distributors believe their best customers love them. They think that their relationship is so strong that those customers would NEVER think about changing to another distributor!
The PROBLEM with this thinking is that most distributors/DSRs are not proactively doing much of anything to make sure they keep and build the business they currently have. Just taking care of their customer service issues week-in, week-out may not be good enough!!
I learned the hard way…THINGS CHANGE…CUSTOMERS CHANGE…COMPETITORS CHANGE.
Action items that you should focus on today with your BEST CUSTOMERS:
- Make the necessary investment of: TIME – SERVICE – GRATITUDE with your customers. Do what you would do to secure new customers—show and help them MAKE MONEY.
- This means being available to your BEST customers WHEN THEY NEED YOU—and in this business, that’s 7 days a week! You know your competitors would take their call any day and time.
- Show your appreciation to your Best Customers by taking your Sales Manager, VP, Owners, etc. to meet them and thank them for doing business with you and your company.
- Set up quarterly “best customers’ meetings” with those customers and take different management (Transportation Manager, Credit Manager, Inside Sales Manager, Warehouse Manager, CFO, CEO, etc.) with you on those calls.
How does your company respond to customer emergency situations? Like if a customer calls you because two busloads of patrons just left their restaurant having wiped out most of its main inventory.
How you and your company handle these situations will show your customer that you’re in it to win it with them, and it will also help you with what action items and systems you might need to improve upon.
Independent operators are in the service business.DSRs and distributors who understand the “service business” will be able to keep their customers from progressing from their competitors’ sales funnel to landing on their competitors’ customer list.
Remember, the DSR and Distributor who add the most value and make it the easiest to do business with, will earn the business.
DSRs, Be a Resource…and Sell Something!