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The Importance of Following Up with Existing Clients in B2B Sales

In the world of B2B sales, winning a client is just the beginning. After securing a signed contract and commencing operations, it's essential to maintain proactive communication with your clients. Failure to do so can lead to problems, strained relationships, and even the loss of valuable clients. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of following up with existing clients in B2B sales and how it can contribute to long-term success.

1. Accountability for Results:

As a B2B salesperson, you have a dual responsibility. Firstly, you are accountable for achieving your sales targets. Secondly, you are accountable to your clients for delivering the outcomes you promised. Even if your operations team handles the execution, you must maintain a connection with your clients. Merely relying on a signed contract is not enough to foster a lasting relationship. By communicating early and consistently about the progress and results, you can address any issues before they become significant problems.

2. Your Client or Someone Else's:

Regular communication is crucial for solidifying your position as a trusted partner. If your clients only hear from you during contract renewals, it leaves room for competitors to swoop in and offer their time and attention. To avoid this, make an effort to frequently communicate with your clients, demonstrating your commitment to their success. By building strong relationships and providing ongoing value, you can reduce the likelihood of clients seeking alternatives.

3. The Foxhole Test:

When problems arise, and your clients face challenges, how you respond can make or break the relationship. The "foxhole test" refers to standing alongside your client during difficult times. Being available, taking control of the situation, and offering assistance showcases your dedication and reliability. Conversely, if you are absent or unresponsive, your clients may lose trust and seek support elsewhere. By passing the foxhole test, you solidify your position as a dependable partner.

4. Anticipate Client Needs:

The business landscape is constantly evolving, and your clients will face changing circumstances. By maintaining regular communication and staying informed about their challenges, you can proactively help them navigate potential obstacles. A modern sales approach allows you to stay abreast of your clients' evolving needs, positioning you as a trusted advisor. By anticipating and addressing their needs before they become urgent, you demonstrate your commitment to their success.

5. Routine Maintenance of Client Relationships:

In today's sales environment, transactional relationships have become more prevalent, influenced by the practices of tech companies. However, if you aim to be a consultative salesperson, you must invest time, attention, and energy in building relationships. Routine maintenance of client relationships is easier than you might think. By making a few phone calls each day, you can communicate with multiple clients, understanding their unique needs and providing tailored support. Some clients may require more frequent communication, while others may prefer monthly check-ins. By being proactive, you nurture lasting relationships.

Following up with existing clients is crucial for maintaining strong relationships and fostering long-term success. Accountability, proactive communication, and anticipation of client needs are key elements in building trust and becoming a valued partner. By consistently demonstrating your commitment to your clients' success, you can create clients for life and establish yourself as a trusted advisor in your industry. Remember, absence does not make the heart grow fonder in sales—it makes the heart go wander.

Matt Slonaker Founder & CEO of M. Allen (E) (W)

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