Hah. It’s been awhile since sales reps were so cocky as to feel that prospects and clients were, in fact, under their thumb. Nope, when the economy got soft and business started to suffer, sales reps everywhere (and in every industry) could no longer be the least bit cavalier about their prospects and accounts. Under your thumb? Not a chance!

Prospects and clients have always had the power to prove just how much they want and need your services. They do it by accepting your proposal and then by continuing to work with you, and in this environment–heck, in any environment–you need to show your love on an ongoing basis.

They’re not under your thumb. There’s always competition waiting to eat your lunch and if you want to rest easy (ok, easier) and be confident that your clients are firmly in your court, allow me to suggest the following five tips:

  1. Go above and beyond what is expected. Doing a good job is no longer enough. Strive to be great and make your clients raving fans.
  2. Don’t BS. Presenting a less-than-honest picture of what you can do and how you can do it will lead to disappointment on the part of clients, and they will go elsewhere.
  3. Be on time and on budget. (Nothing more to say about that.)
  4. Become a resource, not a vendor. Resources are valued and are not as often subjected to budget scrutiny. Vendors are replaceable; business resources, not so.
  5. Show your appreciation for your clients’ business. Do it frequently.

Take my advice: Unless you’re a Rolling Stone, you shouldn’t be singing this tune.

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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to: http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.