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Connecting for Growth: The Power of Multiple Client Contacts

We’ve all been there, whether on the provider or client side. Staff members get reassigned, and key contacts leave the company, it’s the only constant in business, change. This change can leave a sales rep scrambling to retain a relationship with a strategic account. 

Relationships with contacts at client accounts are one of a promotional product distributor’s most tangible connections to revenue. Without those contact relationships, there would be no client programs. In ASI’s 2023 State of the Industry Report

27%of distributors named “increasing the size of their customer base” 
as their number-one challenge. 

Recognizing the significance of increasing the number of contacts within an account is advantageous for maintaining accounts.

Diversification of contacts mitigates risk and enables opportunities.

Relying solely on a single contact at a client account exposes promotional product distributor sales reps to various risks, impacting communication, adaptability, and overall client relationship management. Those risks include:

  • Vulnerability to turnover and disruption in the event of a contact's departure
  • Limited perspective on diverse client needs across different departments
  • Complexity in navigating decision-making processes with a single point of contact
  • Hindered adaptability to shifts in client priorities
  • Finite upselling and cross-selling opportunities
  • Lack of redundancy in communication channels

As personnel changes occur within client organizations the breakdown of communication could hinder sales opportunities, fulfillment of existing opportunities, and even impact retention of the client’s business as a whole. A promo distributor can ensure continuity and stability with client accounts by adding more contacts and touchpoints to its network.

Diversifying contacts provides adaptability to organizational changes.

Organizations change, such as a restructuring or individual personnel changes. Having multiple contacts ensures that you can adapt to these changes more easily, maintaining your relationship with the business as it evolves. Identifying client accounts with only a single point of contact can be a significant opportunity for promo distributor sales reps to expand their reach within organizations. AIA’s reporting business dashboards and Experience AIA’s CRM allow for the segmenting of client accounts to identify those with only single points of contact.

This strategy is easily handed off to “Farmer” sales reps or virtual administrative assistants to execute. As new contacts are identified new program opportunities can be created.

Multiple contacts across multiple departments can mean multiple budgets.

introduction-to-new-client-contacts (1)A fundamental principle in this domain involves recognizing the diverse needs of different departments within client organizations or individual contacts. This understanding of the unique requirements of various departments, such as marketing, procurement, or operations, allows promotional product distributors to explore avenues for offering tailored programs that extend beyond the products themselves into ordering methods such as pop-up shops or company stores.

Tailoring program offerings to diverse departmental needs enhances the distributor's value and opens opportunities for cross-selling. AIA's focus on order financing and processing allows distributors to concentrate on delivering innovative programs to clients. Addressing specific pain points within client organizations strengthens relationships, positioning a distributor as an indispensable partner committed to their client's success.

Getting to decision-makers may require going sideways.

Getting to decision-makers often involves working the organizational chart horizontally, providing multiple opportunities to be referred to the key decision-maker for potential sales opportunities. A crucial aspect of this strategy is differentiating between decision-makers and influencers within client organizations. By understanding the dynamics of decision-making structures, sales professionals can strategically expand their reach horizontally across various departments. This approach not only allows for more comprehensive insights into the client's needs but also facilitates the identification of key stakeholders. 

Leveraging relationships becomes instrumental in navigating complex decision-making processes, as referrals and introductions from influencers can pave the way to connecting with the ultimate decision-makers. Successfully working the org chart horizontally is a valuable tactic for promotional product distributors seeking to establish meaningful connections and secure opportunities within client organizations.

Personalize communication channels for connection.

Communication plays a pivotal role in optimizing sales strategies, emphasizing the importance of effective communication in the sales process. Leveraging various communication channels is crucial for maximum impact, and Experience AIA’s CRM functionality exemplifies this by allowing the application of tags at both company and contact levels. The ability to tag and categorize contacts and companies facilitates streamlined communication, ensuring messages are delivered via the best communication channel for each client and contact. 

By incorporating diverse communication channels, such as email, phone, and CRM tools, promo distributors can navigate potential speaking-to-mulitple-client-contacts-via-virtual-meeting (1)communication breakdowns and establish a robust network of multiple contacts within client organizations. This proactive approach not only enhances the effectiveness of communication but also contributes to building stronger relationships and fostering successful sales outcomes.

Build a contact network.

As contacts transition to new roles and new organizations, it creates fresh avenues for additional sales opportunities. Leveraging these changes allows promotional product distributors to stay connected with former contacts who may now have decision-making authority in their new positions. Adapting and maintaining relationships with individuals as they progress in their careers is a strategic way to capitalize on evolving sales prospects.

Create a resilient network through diversified contacts.

Recognizing the importance of having multiple contacts at a client account is paramount for ensuring resilience in sales relationships. It not only mitigates the risk associated with personnel changes but also provides a broader understanding of the client's organizational dynamics. Promo sales reps are encouraged to diversify and strengthen their client relationships by fostering connections across various departments, allowing for a comprehensive approach to understanding client needs. Implementing strategies to build and maintain multiple contacts within client organizations is a proactive measure that contributes to long-term sales success, fostering adaptability and resilience in the ever-evolving business landscape.

Speak with an AIA team member today about executing these strategies and many more for business growth today.