Build a Sales Relationship That Lasts

Do your pharma customers stop hearing from you the moment you make the sale? I sure hope not! Working in sales is about more than just sealing the deal, it’s about building a lasting relationship with your clients.

A good sales professional stays in touch. Reach out to your clients. Make sure the product is performing as expected, that doctors are hearing good things from their patients. Ask if there’s any additional support you can provide, or if they have any feedback to share. And if they reach out to you before you reach out to them, be prompt in your response!

When you prepare to reach out to someone, keep in mind who your target audience is. Are you communicating with doctors who you already have a strong relationship with? Are you reaching out to friends and family? Are you trying to build relationships in a new market, with people who don’t really know you yet?

Of course, your efforts shouldn’t be strictly sales and product related. Give it a little personal touch, by sending out a nice message around the holidays, or the client’s birthday. This is especially important when contacting friends and family, as it re-establishes your original relationship instead of focusing in the business side of things. It’s also a good way to show the doctors who you’ve worked with for years that you care and wish them well.

If you want to really go the extra mile, keep an eye on your clients’ social media and be sure to send out the occasional note about a milestone – congratulate them on adding a new staff member, or wish them good luck when they move offices. Don’t do this too often or get too personal – if you send a doctor a note every time her kid wins a Little League game, that might get a little overwhelming. But look for moments to show that you pay attention and have an ear to the ground for what’s going on along your sales route.

This doesn’t have to be limited to clients, either. Stay in touch with your prospects. A periodic “Hope you had a great holiday!” message serves as a gentle reminder of your existence, without you saying “So are you ready to buy yet?” I’m a big fan of the soft touch and subtlety in sales.

Your efforts to stay in touch can take several forms. You could have a periodic mailing list that you send out, with updates about your company. You could send personal emails to your clients. For birthdays and holidays especially, a handwritten card makes a powerful statement about how much you care, and gives them a tangible reminder of your business relationship. Phone calls should be used sparingly, as some people find them obtrusive.

Really, when you think about it, the same things that build a good friendship also build a good sales relationship; pay attention, listen, show them you care, and be available when they reach out to you. Above all, don’t only contact someone when you want something from them! Following these simple guidelines will help you form lasting bonds with your pharmaceutical clients.

-AJ

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