How to win from your losses

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Written By

If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost. – Zig Ziglar

Losing a client hurts – beyond the blow to your bottom line, it’s the end of a personal relationship. Instead of dwelling on it, consider it a prime opportunity to learn and improve – and seize it to win more in the future.

1. Ask for internal feedback. Collaborate with your team to determine what you can change about the way you service to save other clients before it’s too late.

  • Were there warning signs? Or lack thereof? Unfortunately, often what you’ll hear is silence – they may never have given your service team the chance to prove themselves. An unengaged customer is a prime target for a more engaging competitor. To avoid these “drifting” customers and strengthen loyalty, construct checkpoints that ensure regular touches with each customer.
  • What was promised to the customer? Did you deliver? Could your former client list the services you proactively provided throughout the year? Our Broker Services Survey shows that 85% of clients want a stewardship report, but only 58% of brokers provide it. Don’t miss this easy opportunity to showcase what differentiates you and fill any gaps in service with a client.

2. Listen. When the dust has settled, step out of your sales shoes and ask for a frank conversation with your former client. Resist the urge to try to resell them and actively listen.

  • What is the alternative? Ask why the broker won the business, and follow their answer with two more questions that begin with “why.” You should do no more than 10% of the talking during the conversation.
  • Were you delivering where it mattered? Our Professional Services Survey showed that the top areas of need for clients were compliance, policies and procedures and risk management. Ask your former client what their new broker delivers in these areas, and how you compare. Again, ask “why” and let them do the talking

3. Be the broker on deck. Stay in touch. Stay top of mind. Make sure if the client ever makes a change again, it’s back to you.

  • Stay top of mind. Set up a reminder to contact the former client regularly – give them a chance to express any dissatisfaction they might have with their new broker.
  • Look      for opportunities to re-engage. Reach out when you see a former client has engaged with your content or your message. Remind them of the services they might access should they return.

Whatever you decide, DO make time to analyze why you lost business, no matter how small the client or how swamped you are. It may be unpleasant to face the truth, but the rest of your book of business depends on it.

As always, I would enjoy discussing your insights and best practices – please don’t hesitate to comment below or contact me at [email protected].

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