If you have never experienced this, you will. Generally, when you form a relationship, it will be with a person, not a whole organisation. And though you may be providing an ideal value and service to that organisation and making your buyer look good, it doesn’t naturally follow that a new buyer will simply follow in their footsteps. Just as you have a great relationship with your buyer, the new person has similar relationships with other suppliers. So what can you do to keep the business when your regular buyer leaves the company?
Brace yourself and prepare for some work
Don’t just assume that the relationship will continue. Remember when you proved value the first time and forged a relationship with the previous buyer? Well prepare to do the same thing again, and be pro-active about it. Treat them as a brand new customer and show them why you deserve their business. But don’t forget to show them the value you have already brought to the relationship.
Get in there quick
The first few weeks are going to be a time of solidifying their position, relationships and possibly, their suppliers. The quicker you are, the more chance you have of being the first to make an impression and prove value.
Make it about them
No matter what you may think, they won’t feel that they owe you anything. So don’t treat them as if they do. When you make the call, explain that you have been assisting their company for x years or months and that the people actually using your products have found them to be excellent. Tell them that you would be honoured to have the opportunity to show them how you have been working together in the past, delighted to learn of their preferred way of working in the future and to see how you can help them to succeed. Don’t forget to congratulate them on their new position.