Unless you are one of the rare people who only tracks down and hunts new business, chances are you deal directly with your customers and sell to many of them on a regular basis.
Do you treat them all the same? If so, you could be making a fatal mistake.
You see, not all customers are treated equal.
A small number of your customers (approximately 20 percent) likely generate the bulk of your sales AND profits. These are your “A” customers. These accounts tend to be high margin, low maintenance. They rarely, if ever, call you at 3:45 PM on a Friday afternoon demanding a pre-weekend delivery. They don’t usually grind you hard on price and they appreciate the work you do for them as much as the value of your product, service or solution.
They deserve most of your attention and your best service because you want to keep them happy and retain them as customers.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the “C” account. They typically account for the bottom 20 percent of your clients and constantly demand price concessions, last minute deliveries, and special requests. Plus, they usually have the highest frequency of problems, errors and mistakes. In short, they are a pain-in-the-butt to deal with. You probably know who these people are without even looking at your client list.
“C” customers should receive the least amount of your time and attention for the simple fact that they generate the lowest sales and profit dollars. However, this can be easier said than done and many sales people spend far too much time dealing with this customer because they also complain the most AND the loudest. It takes courage to resist the temptation to jump when they call.
Finally, we have that group in the middle; your “B” customers. These companies are mid-range accounts and collectively generate a substantial amount of income and revenue to your business. From a sales perspective, this group also offers the most sales potential, especially if you focus on the top 20 percent.
Invest more time looking and probing for additional sales opportunities because they already see the value of your product but may not know, or be in an immediate position to use, other services that you provide.
“A” clients are loyal and dedicated but you MUST consistently provide excellent support, service and maintenance. Look for ways to add value, improve their business, and demonstrate why you are the vendor of choice.
“B” customers often have the potential of growing into an “A” account if nurtured properly and if they are big enough. Focus on the top tier of this group and give them additional attention as necessary.
“C” accounts deserve the least amount of attention. In fact, you should devote less than 20 percent of your time to these companies.
Do you know your ABCs? And, are you investing your time accordingly?