5 Early Warning Signs You May Lose Your Client

5 Early Warning Signs You May Lose Your Client
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Warning Signs You May Lose Your Client
Losing a major client can send you, your forecast, your quota and your sales team into a tailspin.  You know you’ll have to replace that revenue somehow but you feel paralyzed into inaction by the shock of it all.  Did you miss some clear warning signs you may lose your client?

Should You Have Seen this Coming?
Top sales reps have low client churn.  They actively manage their top accounts to reduce the chances of major clients defecting to the competition.  But even a few “escaped” clients send warning signs you may lose your client if you are really tuned in.

Far too many salespeople focus too much time currying favor with new prospects and not enough time nurturing their long-term and major clients.

Five Early Warning Signs You May Lose Your Client
Here are five warning signs you may lose your client or that a client may be seriously considering a move elsewhere.

  1. Non Responsive
    They don’t return your calls or do not respond to emails.
  2. Out of the Inner Circle
    You are no longer the trusted advisor invited to meetings you used to attend or no longer receive the same level of information you received before.
  3. Changing of the Guard
    Your previous contacts have left or been assigned to different roles.
  4. Financial Challenges
    Budgets are being reduced, the value you provide is being questioned, they are taking a long time to pay, or the client is asking for larger discounts and price reductions.
  5. End of the Buying Cycle
    The client begins treating you like a vendor at the end of the buying process rather than a trusted advisor they reach out to in the early and strategic stages of decision making.

The hackles of your neck should rise when one or more of these signs are in evidence.

The Fault Most Often Lies with You
Typically, the reason clients leave is that you haven’t fully understood their expectations, their expectations have changed, or the value you are providing is not meeting expectations.  If you keep in close touch with your client, you would know if there were any emerging problems.

What You Must Do
If and when you get that dreaded phone call firing you, here is what you must do to bounce back from losing a top account:

  1. Take a Breath and Deal with the Facts
    Talk to your client to find out why they want to end the relationship, who will be replacing you, and if the relationship is salvageable.
  2. Seek to Understand
    Ask yourself if you fully understood their expectations and, if not, could you have prevented the loss of their business.
  3. Make a Choice
    Decide if you could (or even should) try to meet their needs.
  4. Don’t Take It Personally
    Maintain a professional demeanor so you can rebuild the relationship if the situation changes again.
  5. Identify Implications
    Determine if this is an isolated event or more of a pattern to be addressed with other clients.
  6. Continuously Improve
    Learn what you can from the experience and apply the key lessons going forward.

The Bottom Line
Losing a client is as much a part of business as landing a dream target client account.  Don’t let it sink you but do let it help you avoid it as much as possible in the future.  Know that the best way to avoid losing a client is to not only consistently meet, but to consistently manage and exceed their expectations.

Check in regularly to ensure they are satisfied with what you are doing.  Be prepared by being proactive and add value at every turn.

To learn more about how to avoid the early warning signs you may lose your client, download How to Identify and Meet the “Right” People in Your Strategic Accounts

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