handoffIf you’re not making your clients feel important, they’ll find someone who will.

Call me crazy, but when I spend money with people, I expect them to treat me well, to follow up with me, and to have processes in place to ensure my needs get met.

I recently received the following note from a salesperson at a company I’ve done business with for years:

My name is Tim Sales (name changed to protect the guilty).  I am your new rep. Let me know if you need anything else.

In the same email, I saw a note from my previous rep to the new one:

She is yours now …she is great. I guess they never moved her out of my name. She is in Nor Cal.

I’m glad someone thinks I’m great, but boy, did I drop through the cracks or what?

If You Don’t Care About Me, I Don’t Care About You

What annoyed me even more about this situation was that I gave referrals to this company. Granted, we have a business relationship. However, my potential income is eclipsed by their dismal follow-up. If they don’t care enough about me to ensure that I don’t slip through the cracks, I no longer care about referring them. Clearly, their processes are broken, and I only refer people—especially my clients—to companies I trust will treat them as well as I would.

I’ve met with key people in this organization, who told me that referrals are an integral part of their business-development strategy. Odd, then, that my calls and emails haven’t been returned. As the old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Nothing Is More Important Than Caring for Your Clients

Yes, you have a busy schedule. We all do. But to salespeople, clients are gold. If you want to keep them—and just as importantly, get referrals from them—you  must stay in touch, take care of them, help them with their problems, introduce them to people they need to meet, and become the sales advisor they know and trust. And don’t just ask for referrals; provide them with referrals. One of the greatest things you can do for your clients and for your reputation is to be a trusted and valued referral resource.

Bottom line: Never let your clients drop through the cracks. The fortune’s always in your follow-up.

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How do you show your clients that you care? Share a story about a time when a company or salesperson made you feel special, or made you feel that you didn’t matter.