My 15 year old son Lewis was looking a bit down the other day, not his usual bouncy self. Being a caring dad, I asked if everything was OK and he replied “No Dad its not” and slammed the door on me. My fault, for asking, I guess.
So I asked my wife what was the matter with Lewis and she calmly told me that he and his girlfriend had broken up. Oh dear, I thought, young love and all that, how terrible. With long distance memories of my own young love, Lewis walked past me. Not feeling particularly sensitive, I shouted at him…“So you got dumped then Lewis”
That got his attention. He then went onto explain that the girl who he’d woo’d, sent flowers, took out on great dates, all those things you do to get their attention and who he’d succeeded in keeping as his girlfriend, dumps him after 6 weeks.
“What happened Lewis?”
“I dunno Dad, I didn’t do anything wrong”
And on examination, he didn’t do anything wrong but he didn’t do anything. Once he’d landed her as his girlfriend he stopped woo’ing her, sending her flowers and taking her out for great dates. And she wanted more so dumped him.
“What did I do wrong Dad?”
“You stopped woo’ing her Lewis…you need to keep up the woo’ing to keep a girl”, cricky I sounded like an expert, not.
Sad for Lewis, but he’ll get another girlfriend I’m sure but what about salespeople? Will they get another client?
It’s totally true that many account managers, customer care advisers or salespeople who need to create long term relationships with their clients, put all the effort into winning them in the first place and then once they have them as a client, they tail off the woo’ing and the client goes elsewhere.
The trick is to maintain the same amount of attention throughout the relationship, manage the account, manage the client, give them attention, help them in many ways, keep the relationship going, keep the dialogue going, whatever it takes to be always in their mind and know their challenges and problems. Show them you know their challenges, are an expert in their industry or their requirements.
Spend as much time, if not more, in maintaining the relationship and you’ll be rewarded. Better still accept the fact that few people can be both hunters and farmers. Few salespeople have the ability to be able to both get new clients and service existing clients. Hunting and farming are just totally different disciplines and require different energies.
Anyway, my son now thinks I’m the centre of gravity when it comes to advice on girlfriends, if only he knew I was the champion of being dumped after 6 weeks. Psst, don’t tell him will you?