What makes a great client? What makes a client great? (Did I just ask the same thing?) What drives the sales community to go the extra mile for a client? I am sure that we as sales professionals have had enough client interaction to have formed plenty of opinions on the best and worst traits of our clients! I can think of many clients in the past who were amazing to deal with. That motivated me to work harder on their behalf and do more – because it felt right and it was the right thing to do. I am not saying it is right to to be less sensitive to your difficult clients, but it just does feel the same. I wish more clients understood that…we want to do the best we can, and it is much more likely to happen when we are treated well.
I was making a list not long ago about the attributes of my best clients. So, for the first time at ToddCohen.com, I am offering my “TOP 10” list of the qualities of my most amazing clients in the last 20+ years. In no order of importance here they are: offering mutual trust and kindness, being responsive, communicating the status of the sales campaign to me, being brave about being an early adopter, returning calls and emails, negotiating in good faith and with integrity, giving plenty of feedback (whether positive or negative), listening to my ideas and thoughts, not rushing the sales campaign, and treating me with respect.
Do you see a common thread in the above attributes? When I wrote the list and looked at it (a few dozen times), it occurred to me that my best clients ever were very open and communicative with me. This made it very easy to manage the sales campaign because I knew where I stood at all times! My favorite clients always were available to me and communicated effectively throughout and after the sales campaign. They made sure I knew what I was dealing with, and that in turn made it easier for me to be more effective and give them what they needed. They viewed me as a valued partner not just a vendor. That makes a huge difference in the tone and tenor of everything. My best clients were champions for my product, my company, and for me. I think great salespeople take that very seriously and make sure it is honored.
OK, sales community – your turn! What are your clients’ best and worst attributes?