Sales Make it Happen
"What else can you do for me?"
by Ken Goodman, CLP
After spending time and money cultivating relationships with a client, closing the deal, if you listen, you client will then be asking, "What else can you do for me?"
It should be standard to add the person to your "follow-up" list, plus keep them in mind for a birthday card, or an excuse to contact them regarding any event that you know about from conversations you have had with your client.
If you are really doing your job about forming a "relationship," you should bring them into your "business family" as soon as possible. You can not only generate referrals from such a network, but also additional financial rewards.
Make a list of things you can do for your client:
Accounts Receivable Financing and Factoring - Many cash starved manufacturers and distributors regularly borrow against committed invoice payments. A number of companies provide these services and some are willing to pay you ongoing royalties for referrals.
Inventory Financing - Retailers of expensive equipment must tie up a lot of money in inventory - auto dealers, truck dealers and sellers of construction or manufacturing equipment generally fall in this category. Lenders will loan against these assets until they are resold.
Commercial & Residential Mortgages - More and more companies are considering real estate acquisitions either for facilities they will use, or for investment. In fact, we encourage clients to invest in such appreciating assets while leasing their equipment. Create a relationship with a mortgage company or broker for mutual fee or referral opportunities.
Insurance - We require insurance on the equipment we lease. Not every customer has a relationship with a good commercial insurance agent. Why not recommend someone who will be a revenue and/or referral source for you.
Accounting and Bookkeeping Services - Not everyone has such a professional on retainer. Especially where we are asking them to provide more detailed financial information then they have on hand, referring someone into the situation makes sense.
Vehicle Leasing - Cars, and often trucks, are specialized opportunities. You're not going to a two year lease on a car and bet on getting a 55% residual, nor are you (usually) in the business of doing a full service (maintenance included) lease on a truck, so why not refer the prospect to someone who will?
Better Bank ---Particularly one that won't compete with you in the near future. Working capital, accounts receivable, and most important in today's world, personal attention, not just a FICO number.
Out Of The Box Thinking - Don't stop with this list. Almost anyone who seeks to do business with your clients and prospects is a potential source of referrals and/or fee income. That includes lawyers, office supply companies, furniture sellers, sales consultants and trainers (shameless plug) and a lot more. Look for joint marketing opportunities as well. Everything doesn't have to involve cash payments.
When the client things about money and who can help them, hopefully you will be on the top of the list---to either provide it directly or introduce them to someone you both will trust to perform.
Ken Goodman, CLP
Goodman & Associates
Consulting - Training - Litigation Support