Them vs. Us

by Bob Everlanka

How do you get your client to change their thinking from “you are one of them…a sales guy trying to sell us something” to ” you are one of us”?

How do you move your customer’s perception of you from a guy who is selling stuff for your benefit to a guy who provides so much help, support, service, knowledge and positive karma that he is one of us trying his best to help us achieve our goals?


Quarterly Business Reviews with your key clients can be one way to begin moving your business relationship in the right direction.

Once you have sold an account you may have lots of contact and a stream of orders. All good, but that communication is usually transactional. Delivery Dates. Invoicing. Returns, etc. You need to meet with the key players on a regular basis and move past the basics. Yes, present a chart showing year-to date business and some of your key deliverables. Yes, address whatever questions your client throws your way about invoicing or packing.

However, the real value of the Quarterly Business Review comes when the conversation shifts from the past to the future. Where is the business going? Is the client planning on adding a new line, a new shift, a new location or more volume. How can you help your client achieve his goals?

By establishing your credentials and committing your time to make sure you are best serving your client, you have earned the right to become part of the client’s future plans. You are not just a sales guy anymore. You are part of the team.

How do you lock in this relationship long term? Commit to bringing something of value to the next Quarterly Meeting. It’s tough for your client to switch vendors over a couple of pennies when you bring extra value, knowledge and service to the client and function so well as a trusted member of their team.

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