The client acquisition process isn’t without some struggle for members of a sales team. There is an inordinate amount of pressure put on managers and leadership to ensure client retention numbers are either stable or increase throughout the year. A dip in client retention means the sales team has to work even harder to not only regain the lost revenue but to build back up their existing pipeline. However, attrition is normal and expected. From time to time, it becomes necessary to return to former clients or lost deals and focus on winning them back.
A salesperson’s reacquisition strategy is a different strategy from new client acquisition. For example, a former client may have some relevant assumptions about the business, product(s), the organization, or a specific member of the sales or support team.
Reacquisition, however, can be successful—it is all a matter of the salesperson’s approach and process. A successful reacquisition process will include:
- Identifying the reason for the initial relationship dissolution
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Meaningful and frequent customer communication
- New deal requirements
The first step in the process is to identify what caused the relationship to dissolve in the first place. There is always a reason the customer decided to terminate the relationship agreement. If the salesperson is unable to determine the reason for the client’s exit, then it may make sense to perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to better understand areas that could have impacted the relationship.
Use the information and gathered details to formulate a plan to win the client back. Make sure to include benchmarks, timelines, and communication points throughout to ensure the client is aware or reminded of your attempt to remedy any mistake or misfortune that led to their early departure.
It may take time to win back the client. Don’t expect a change of heart overnight. Start by offering smaller less risky or more economically sensible products that will be an “easy sell” to the returning client. This will help get your foot back in the door, which is one of the biggest hurdles: getting your first “yes.”
As you move through this process the client may have new or refreshed special requests. Take these items seriously as it is important to make a better deal this time around than was made previously, or than what the client is currently being offered.
When you are trying to win back a former client or reignite the flame of a formerly hot lead, going above and beyond to close the deal is encouraged. It’s fine to do the unexpected, give the client something they aren’t expecting, especially if their last engagement with your organization left something to be desired. This means apologizing and meaning it; empathizing or relating to the customer and really finding common ground on which you can connect; looking for creative or unique ways to address their needs this time around the sales table.
Contact Insured Solutions for additional support in winning back lost clients or re-engaging leads that have soured over time.