It’s devastating when you lose a long-term customer to a competitor. It’s even worse when you’ve been there for them, consistently providing top-notch service for years. You feel betrayed by their lack of loyalty. Plus, you can be upset with your own company. You did everything possible, but they didn’t give you a good enough price to compete effectively. Or, your offering just wasn’t quite as good as your competitors. Here’s the deal: You may be seriously deluding yourself about the reasons you lost the customer.

Recently research firm Corporate Executive Board did an in-depth analysis of customer-loyalty drivers. Here are some of the insights uncovered—and the percentage of their contribution to loyalty.

  • 19 percent: Company/brand impact
  • 19 percent: Product and service delivery
  • 9 percent: Value-to-price ratio
  • 53 percent: Sales experience

Stunning, isn’t it? You are the biggest factor after all. Your personal impact during the sales experience is greater than all the other factors combined.

Customers stay with you because of what it’s like working with you, because of the customer service and attention you provide. But it’s much more than just having a “great relationship” with your clients or taking care of their problems. Your customers also want you to be an invaluable resource to them—all the time.

Specifically, that means that clients want you to:

  • Bring them ideas, insights and information to help them achieve their business objectives.
  • Provide guidance on how to make a good decision, on who needs to be involved and on the next steps.
  • Keep them up to date about any changes that could impact them—positively or negatively.
  • Challenge their thinking and provide them with fresh perspectives. 

Ask yourself if you are doing that with your best customers today. If you’re focused only on your relationship, it may not be enough. You may be at serious risk of losing them if a competitor suddenly appears and offers them the value they’re looking for.

Don’t let it happen to you!

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.