We kicked off the year with our highest secured sales along with having a record first-quarter sales.
Well on our way to hitting our stretch goal, we were stoked to be having another record sales year.
Then it happened. One of our largest key clients restructured their senior management team. I arranged to meet with the new Vice President and, after a tough meeting, I managed to salvage the account.
Not too long after that, I received word that, due to further cuts within that company, the training would be pulled. I had no option but to accept their decision.
I had a choice to make. I could sit slumped in my chair feeling sorry for myself or I could step up to the plate as a sales leader and strategize how I could make up the loss.
A quick calculation told me the loss of revenue was over 30% of our current sales for this year. Ouch!
Then I did a quick analysis of the past two years to determine how much revenue we had secured at the exact times in those years.
I discovered that we could still hit our sales goal with a lot of focused prospecting and secured sales from existing clients.
Over the next hour, I brainstormed my strategy and almost filled a page with my ideas.
Let me share with you the nine steps you can take when you are faced with losing a big client:
•Rally the team – When you share the news with your team, be optimistic and communicate your plan to overcome the loss. The message to relay is one of all team members staying the course and, regardless of the client loss, remaining undeterred from hitting your sales goals. Request their input, buy-in and commitment to your sales and prospecting strategy moving forward.
•Review the plan – Have a look at the next 90 days as well as the remainder of the calendar year to determine ideal prospecting times moving forward. In our case, we had 8-10 weeks before summer holidays to prospect and secure the lost revenue. We decided to commit to 50 calls per week for the next several weeks. What commitment could your team make to its prospecting efforts to generate increased business? Creating daily and weekly scoreboards to highlight sales activities is a great way to inspire your team to climb back to the top.
•Create a Client Hot List – Brainstorm with your team to come up with 50 existing clients with whom you could easily secure business. The likelihood of generating business with existing clients is always greater. Reach out to these people immediately so you can secure a few quick wins to boost the confidence of your team and create momentum.
•Develop a Suspects & Prospects Hot List – Similar to the Client Hot List, this is a list of potential companies who could become clients.