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Building Client Relationships that Differentiate

By Susan Hall

Do you customers believe that you care about their success? Does your team know what is important to your customers? Do you go above and beyond for your customers? In this video, Susan Hall shares three strategies to differentiate yourself with your customers at the individual level.

Susan Hall: 00:01 Our world is moving at such a fast pace. Competition is tight and it's harder than ever to get our clients' attention. Sales organizations are asking themselves, "How do we stand out and differentiate from our competitors?" Obviously you need to have a quality product or service, and you need to have the highest level of integrity, but that's just the ticket to entry. Customers have now come to expect remarkable service from every organization that they engage with. And with that standard set, it's important for your team to go above and beyond the customer's expectations. In order to differentiate, you need to build stronger relationships, both at the organizational level, that's company to company, but also at the individual level. Today, I'd like to focus on how to build relationships at the individual level. Specifically, what can salespeople do to differentiate.

Susan Hall: 01:05 According to the Technical Assistance Research Program, 68% of customer churn is due to the customer feeling like the supplier does not care. It's critical that your customer knows how important they are to you. So how do you do that? Well, here are three ways. One, you have to take the time to understand your customer. Customers will do business with you when they feel that you understand them, not when they understand you. That means that it's more important to do great discovery and find out what's important to them and why, than it is to tell them all the wonderful things about you and your organization. Ask good questions to show you understand them and make sure you are tracking by asking, "Did I get this right? Is there anything else that you think I should know?"

Susan Hall: 01:50 Second, once you understand your customer, make sure others on your team also understand your customer. Share your discovery with your team. If your customer has special invoicing requirements, if they like email versus phone calls, if they want you to communicate with an executive overview and bulleted summary, as opposed to pages of detail, make sure everyone on your team who interacts with a customer knows all of this. Use your company's share drive technology, or better still, pull your implementation team together to share information and discuss project specs and expectations before the project even begins.

Susan Hall: 02:28 And finally, give more than what's expected. Not just because it's good for business, but because it's the right thing to do. As a salesperson, you have expertise and time that bring value to your clients. Be generous with both. Everyone is busy. I know you're busy. So are your customers. How can you make it easier for them? How can you save them time?

Susan Hall: 02:51 For example, when we launch training programs with clients, we don't just recommend that they communicate to participants regarding the expectations for the program. We actually write those communications for them. It's these small things that add up. When we conduct launch calls and handle the process start to finish, this way they can focus on other things and still ensure a successful launch. I've known salespeople who have hand delivered a product for expedited delivery or met with their customer's customer to understand better how to help. Get together with the rest of your sales team to brainstorm ideas for giving more than what's expected. Take the time to understand your customer, make sure your team understands the customer and give more than what's expected. That's a sure recipe for success.

Published: September 7, 2022

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Susan Hall

Vice President - Business Development & Performance Improvement

Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.

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