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3 Vital Strategies to Protect Your Customer Base

How to Retain Your Most Profitable Accounts

By Michael Leimbach, PhD

Sellers as well as buyers are taking stock of priorities as the economy continues to show weakness across most industries. As a result, most sales organizations are pursuing new business—which often means taking advantage of competitors’ complacency or mistakes in providing service to customers. In the face of relentless competitive pressure, sales leaders are looking for smart answers to an urgent question: How can we protect our customer base from erosion as competition intensifies?

While there are a variety of potential answers to this question, most fail to get to the crux of the problem: a lack of understanding of how customers want to buy, and a subsequent failure to apply the right resources in the right accounts to ensure protection from predatory competition.

The following discussion offers three effective strategies for strengthening your relationships with your most profitable customers. The goal is to first free up resources that may be tied up in unproductive accounts. These resources can then be applied to create value for your best customers, which will make them resistant to even the most persuasive cost-cutting competitor.

As long as you are demonstrating your understanding of what these customers need from your organization, your competitors are unlikely to make headway, even if they offer the lure of discounted prices.

Michael Leimbach, PhD

Michael Leimbach, PhD, is a globally recognized expert in instructional design and leadership development. As Vice President of Global Research and Development for Wilson Learning Worldwide Inc., he has worked with numerous Global 1000 organizations in Australia, England, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the United States. Over more than 30 years, Dr. Leimbach had developed Wilson Learning’s diagnostic, learning, and performance improvement capabilities, published over 100 professional articles, coauthored four books, been Editor-in-Chief for the highly acclaimed ADHR research journal, and is a frequent speaker at national and global conferences. He also serves on the ISO Technical Committee (TC232) on Quality Standards for Learning Service Providers and on the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development Dean’s Advisory Board.