Teach them how to fish
With a company that has employees spread around the world, it
can be difficult to have face-to-face meetings with anyone who is
not at your corporate office on a regular basis. Technology does
help and Titus tries to arrange as many meetings as possible where
he can sit down with his people and go over what’s happening.
To keep his employees focused on doing what’s best for the company, Titus encourages them to maintain regular contact with their
“It’s the closeness to your customer, the relationship with your
customer, knowing their name and knowing what’s going on in
their lives,” Titus says. “If somebody opens up another business
and they beat your price, you’re not going to lose a customer you
have a relationship with. Having that relationship is very important.”
Build relationships with customers through regular communication. Talk to them at a convention or get together after a meeting
and see what’s on their mind.
“Speak to the person as you are servicing them,” Titus says.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. ‘What did you like most? What
can I do better?’ Get suggestions. We’ve actually included customers and vendors in our strategic planning sessions. They
become part of the vision of the future of our company.”
One of the best times to get feedback from customers is at the
time of their first experience with your company.
“You’ll get great feedback from brand-new customers that will
tell you why they purchased from you or why they are coming with
you,” Titus says. “There are a lot of salespeople out there that are
afraid to ask that question. They sell something, and they are just
happy they sold the product or service, and they can’t wait to get
back to the office and show everybody the contract they signed.
“They should really be finding out what other needs the customer might have. How did they find out about you? Maybe you
can get more and advertise in those places. You can really start to
pinpoint what’s working best in your sales process.”