Written By: Jeb Blount
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I love blending text messaging into my account management process. As a communication tool, it’s fast, efficient, less formal than email, and allows for arm’s-length, nonintrusive, synchronous communication that still feels personal.
There are two reasons why blending text messaging into your account management process works:
Text messaging is extremely versatile virtual communication channel. You can attach videos, images, voice messages, and links to articles and resources. And, when the person you are texting is not available, texting shifts from synchronous to asynchronous communication.
For account management and communicating with customers text messaging is a tremendous tool. It helps you nurture and maintain relationships, keeps customers updated, and allows you to quickly respond to concerns from anywhere.
It’s for these reasons that text messaging is the perfect virtual communication channel to blend into your account management system and process. Text messages are an easy way to:
The real key to blending text into your account management process is ensuring that your text messages are intentional, systematic, and part of an account management plan
A brutal truth is that most customers are lost because of neglect. Not prices, not products, not the economy, not aggressive competitors. Neglect!
Neglect happens slowly. It creeps up on customer relationships.
Salespeople delude themselves into believing that if their customers are not complaining, they must be happy. So, they spend all of their time putting out fires and dealing with squeaky wheels, all the while ignoring accounts that that don’t raise their hand.
Wrapped up in this warm blanket of delusion, salespeople swing the door open and invite competitors in.
Aggressive competitors don’t miss an opportunity to displace salespeople who neglect their customers. When you fail to proactively anchor your customer relationships, those competitors slip through and encourage buyers to consider other options.
This is exactly why you must never lose sight of the long-term consequences of neglecting accounts.
Relationships matter and must be protected against an onslaught of competitors. You must not take any relationship for granted. Assume that every customer and every relationship is at risk.
I’m not saying this is easy. One of the hardest things to do is keep your fingers on the pulse of your customer base.
Quarterly business reviews and other formal meeting are time consuming. You probably have a large account base and you can’t possibly meet with everyone. Every single day you are putting out fires and dealing with immediate customer service issues.
The good news is the one secret to defending your accounts is completely in your control. Pay attention to them.
A simple, regular, inexpensive check-in by text message can make all the difference. It doesn’t need to be anything particularly special. You don’t need a reason to tell your customers that you appreciate them.
Staying in regular contact with your accounts ensures that you are top of mind with customers. It lets them know that you care.
Just remember, it doesn’t cost a thing to pay attention to your customers.
Even though text messaging is a quick and convenient channel for communicating with your accounts, you must not allow text messaging to become a substitute for meeting with you customers by phone, video, and in-person.
I recently ended a several-year relationship with one of my vendors because my account manager was just “texting it in.” We’d always used text as a way to stay in touch. I appreciated being able to communicate with him and quickly get questions asked or problems solved. I’d even made several purchases after he sent me special offers in text messages.
A year earlier, though, text became his primary channel. Where we used to talk, now he never called. He was no longer blending texting into his account management process; texting had become his account management process.
If he had an upsell or special offer, he sent it via text. When it was time to restock, he sent a text. Soon, I started to feel that he was taking me for granted, like he felt he no longer needed to make an effort in order to keep my business.
This is the dark side of text messaging. It’s fast and easy, but it is not a substitute for talking with people and investing in relationships.
Sadly, for my account manager, one of his competitors called me. She invested in the relationship. I gave her a little of my business and she did a great job. As the business relationship bloomed, I gave her more and more of my business. Soon, she had it all.
And my old account manager? He has still not called. But I did get a text message from him this morning asking how I was doing. All I can do is SMH.
Direct messaging is a SALES MEGA-TREND. More than four billion people communicate on mobile messaging tools each day. Learn how to gain a massive competitive edge with strategies, tactics, techniques, and tips for leveraging text & direct messaging for prospecting, sales, and account management in our course: The NEW Essentials of Text & Direct Messaging
Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…
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