The secret to ‘conquesting’ an account involves setting up face-to-face meetings every week, setting goals for the number of “touches” you make with customers throughout the month and building relationships with customers by finding common ground.
Sean Mollenauer, national account executive Midwest region, suggests paying attention to their numbers. Face-to-face meetings will lead to proposals, which will lead to signed deals. You should know what your ratios are and set goals for yourself around each of them. Mollenauer also recommends that you set personal goals for personal touches each month, including face-to-face visits, mailers, and calls.
Opportunities for new leads can come from a variety of sources, says Victoria Kresge, vice president, dedicated services and logistics for NationaLease. These sources can include your current book of customers; word of mouth, internet, social media, site traffic; networking; and good, old-fashioned cold calling. “You need to determine who your ideal customer is and target those businesses,” she said.
Have a set routine when you learn a company’s current contract is expiring and they are open to exploring new suppliers, advises Rick Baker, national account executive Southeast region at NationaLease. Every time a contract is nearing expiration, the procedure should be the same:
- Visit the account
- Make sure you are speaking with the decision maker
- Make a company capabilities presentation
- Quote the business
- Propose the business
- Fight to the end following-up
Kevin Plummer, national account executive Western region at NationaLease, suggests using a technique called SPIN Selling, as described in the book by Neil Rackham, SPIN Selling.
Here are the tenets of SPIN Selling:
- S = Situation Questions —This allows you to establish context.
- P = Problem Questions — This allows the buyer to reveal their implied needs.
- I = Implication Questions — In this step, you find out more about the problem and understand it more clearly.
- N = Need-Payoff Questions — The buyer states their explicit needs allowing you to state the benefits they will get working with you. This strongly relates to sales success.
Kresge believes in the power of relationships, noting that they create trust, respect, cooperation and celebration. Jorge Carrillo, national account executive South Central region at NationaLease, concurs, “When we collaborate and own relationships, we win.”
In order to build relationships, Baker suggests “looking for your angle when selling a business; find common ground. The large companies make mistakes and know there is always a reason to leave them. The customer just needs to find that reason in order to move his business to you.”