Max thought all along that his customer – a very important one – was happy with the service his organization had been providing the last two years. But it still came anyway: the dreaded notice stating that his client’s contract is up in 30 days and will not renew.
You probably received a similar blow at one point in your selling career and have accepted it as part of doing business – an occupational hazard if you will. After all, the client is not committed to you and is free to bolt as soon as the contract expires, right?
While it may be true that non-renewals happen from time to time, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prevent them. “Aside from your regular conversations with your clients to make sure your product or service is still meeting expectations, you can actively seek to uncover plans they may not be sharing freely with you.
Remember your Coach for that account? The one who provided you valuable information that allowed you to reach all the people who had influence on the final decision? They helped you close that deal; they could very well be an asset in retaining the account.
Regular conversations with your coach may provide you answers to questions such as:
Are there any turf wars that may affect how decisions are made when it’s time to renew contracts?
Are there any possible new players on the scene? What is the extent of their influence on the decision to renew or not?
Is the client evaluating other options?
What are my competitors offering that I have not yet offered or unable to offer?
Your Coach is a valuable asset who can help reassess your position with this account. Plus, the information you get will provide you ideas in creating compelling Valid Business Reasons for your clients to agree to continue to have dialogs with you.
But don’t stop there. Strive to develop multiple Coaches over time to cover various functional areas within the account. One is better than nothing but having more than one allows you to get broader, more reliable information to secure that renewal.