There’s no question that healthy friendships require both time and effort to flourish. The same applies to your customers if you want to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship.

Your friends don’t pay your bills, do they? Most likely not; however, we work day in and out to make sure our friendships are balanced, on track, and healthy.

Ask yourself: do you put the same amount of effort into your customer relationships as you do your friendships? Your answer may not often be but should always be YES.

Your sales success rides on the backs of the customers who buy your product. So, let’s start prioritizing them accordingly and make time for them.  

The simple fact is, customers buy from people they like. Any experienced pharma-rep knows that relationships close deals.  

Unfortunately, there’s often a missing ingredient to building relationships with customers — and that’s time.

Making Your Time Count

What We Can Learn from Diamonds and Toothpaste

Crest is one of the largest names in toothpaste. Crest’s website publicizes over 30 different types of toothpaste for sale. They’re sorted by vague sounding names that many people don’t know the meaning of.  

Being a good pharma-rep is often about doing the opposite of what Crest is doing on their website. With so many new drugs for you to study up on, it can be easy to fall into poor and over-descriptive habits.

This is where diamonds come into play.

The Diamond Method

Diamonds are presented to customers in an extremely streamlined way — the four C’s.

  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Color
  • Carat

Doctors are not often actively looking for solutions, but they’re always in deep need of them. The job of a pharma-rep is to make it clear to doctors why your product or service will be a solution for a specific problem they’re facing.

When pitching drugs to a doctor, you want to take an approach similar to the diamond method by sticking to the clear and crucial elements.  

Pharmaceuticals are a lot more complicated than diamonds, so actively listen to the doctor, ask good questions, and figure out their pain points from there.

Have a personally-tailored version of the Diamond Method ready for your customers. Simplify the drugs you’re selling to the specifics that will address their pain-points.   

Kill Churn with Personalized Customer Rewards  

According to Bain and Co, offering rewards to loyal customers leads to a 5 percent increase in retention. Repeat customers spend, on average, 67 percent more than new customers.

That’s a lot of money on the line. But when you decide to give out rewards to your customers and prospects, always remember: personalize, personalize, personalize!

By spending time on customer reward programs that are unique to each customer base, you’re instilling value in those who will be eventually buying your product or service.  

Personalized rewards show that you’re paying attention to the unique needs of each customer. This gives loyal customers a sense of security that makes them far more reluctant to take offers from your competitors.  

Zone Your Calendar

Chop your territory into separate zones. Then spend one day of your work week in each zone. Leave the last day of the week open to deal with any loose-ends in your territory.

Now, this sounds counterproductive towards building strong relationships with customers, but think about the friends you enjoy spending time around most.

A lot of them are probably people with very busy schedules. People who you don’t always get to see. Still, these busy people make time for us. And because of how busy they are, we value it even more.

This means that when it comes to zoning, you must resist the temptation to meet up with customers who aren’t on your calendar.

You have to be disciplined, but when zoning is done right, this strategy can supercharge your relationships with your customers. With this discipline, comes the benefits of:

  • Driving shorter distances
  • Having more time to cold-call and prospect
  • Becoming more organized and productive with your time

Find New Leads: Make the Most of Where You Are

Even with zoning, there will be times where you’ll have to go out of your way to meet certain customers or prospects.

When you’ve traveled to a distant place, it can be tempting to drive home or back to your hotel and let the rest of your day just taper off. Especially if you don’t have any more appointments.

Instead, take this as an opportunity to find new leads and reach out to potential customers.

Badger Maps is a field sales application that helps reps and managers find new leads among a multitude of industries. You’ll find doctors and hospitals in seconds and can visit them using optimized routing that’ll get you there faster than ever before. In fact, reps that use Badger drive less and have more time to meet with customers.

By prioritizing and making time for your customers as you would for your friends, you are showing them that they are worth your time and you are worth their business. Take this into account the next time you’re scheduling meetings, making cold calls, or even just checking in with your loyal customers.

Author Bio: Evan Campbell is an Account Manager at Badger Maps, a route planner that automates territory management for outside sales reps. Badger visualizes sales data, optimizes daily routes, and generates meeting reports – helping users drive 20 percent less and sell 25 percent more on average. You can read more from Evan on the Badger blog and follow him and his team on Twitter @BadgerMaps.

 

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