How often is the company to blame? Inability to ship on time, can't ship the correct items, inaccurate invoices, lousy customer service, unreliable products, etc. But how often is the salesperson really to blame? Setting unrealistic expectations or no expectations at all. Thinking of self before the customer. Overselling. In many cases, a salesperson's greed, selfishness and ineffective communication skills can cause a customer to become unhappy enough to leave.
How can you determine whether your salespeople are guilty of any of these problems? Ask their customers and clients. Don't ask if they're happy, ask if they feel like they are getting what they paid for. Ask if the salesperson cares more about the customer than himself. Ask if they feel they're getting value. Ask if there is anything your salesperson could do better.
It's bad when your salespeople aren't effective bringing the business in. It's worse when they aren't effective keeping it.
(c) Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.