Hanging On to the Data

Unscrupulous salespeople occasionally have the idea that the client belongs to them and not the firm they work for. If you ever come across this attitude, remind the salespeople that if this were the case, they'd sign their own pay and commission checks. You should also be aware that it is a free world and legally, in most countries, there is nothing to stop salespeople from contacting past contacts. However, their contracts may be suitably worded to make it clear that they are not allowed to abuse their situation. You are paying them to work for you, not provide valuable information to your competitors.

The other half of the job is to monitor sales and not lose touch with your customer base. Customers are usually pleased to get a call from a senior person, especially when he or she is merely checking that everything is going right with their purchase. Client information is a great way to be alerted to effective ways of selling products and working out further opportunities. Clever sales engineers rarely jump in immediately when an opening shows. They note it and think their strategy through. Talking to customers can also give you a better idea of the way sales are going generally. Are salespeople pressing too hard or not hard enough? Is the market perception of what the company is doing in step with the company's intention?

Periodic contact at various levels not only nets valuable information, it also helps to extend your company's relationship with the customer.

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