While employee turnover is inevitable, it can hurt growing businesses without the resources to cover temporary personnel loss. The good news is that losing key contacts like clients and leads when an outfacing employee leaves your company is avoidable. Your salespeople may be meeting prospects and clients personally, but as it is on company time, it is your prerogative to maintain these client relationships.
Ensuring that you have up-to-date contact information and are proactive in reaching out to the leads and clients of a departing salesperson will better your chances of maintaining company projections. Follow the steps below to protect your business and ensure a smooth transition for the staff replacement.
1. Make Sure your Prospects & Clients have Multiple Contacts
You can prevent clients from leaving in the first place by staying in regular contact with key business partners and grooming leads as a team. Your customers should be aware that the service or product they trust is coming from the entire company. The best way to do this is to make sure that other employees are regularly attending meetings with important leads and customers so that your company is not inevitably associated with just one person.
Make it general practice to cc: managers and other salespeople on important emails, and to regularly rotate or include other employees during key meetings. Being too dependent on one person for everything may lead clients to change providers if that person switches companies.
If you are in charge of a very small company, the best option is for you to do this yourself. No matter how busy you may be with development and administrative matters, your clients are invaluable. And of course, your customers will appreciate meeting the “big boss” and knowing that your company cares about them up to the very top.
This personal touch is important: Even if you are 100% sure there are multiple people in regular contact with key prospects and customers, can you be certain that these people won’t be tempted to jump ship with your departing employee? A key sales or marketing person may take other team members with them sooner or later.
But if you really can’t afford the time, it may be prescient to hire a sales or marketing associate to assist with bringing in new business and maintaining client relationships.
2. Make sure your Salespeople’s Contacts are Saved before they Leave
Even if you are 100% sure that there are multiple people in regular contact with key prospects and customers, they may not have all the latest information handy. This means that your clients may be gone before you have a chance to reach out and keep them!
We of course recommend that you use Evercontact to automatically share and save contact information from emails 🙂
And, if you know in advance about your employee’s departure, prepare the groundwork by checking in with key clients and requesting meetings where possible, or a quick call or email if not. If the leaving is friendly, you can do a handoff in cooperation with the departing employee. This doesn’t need to be heavy-handed, you can just be checking in on how things are going and have them meet you or the new contact, and thus make sure they have a familiar and friendly face that is staying.
3. What to Do if It’s Too Late
Fortunately, it’s never too late 🙂 Even if an employee departure takes you by total surprise and you don’t have the information about key contacts to reach out to them immediately, you can use a contact recovery service like ContactRescue to acquire them! ContactRescue will search over their emails and identify those with whom they have exchanged emails and automatically add those contacts your address book or CRM.
What to do then? Reach out, as quickly and as effectively as you can. Call, email or meet all key clients and prospects to let them know that you (or someone else) are their new contact and that you are enthusiastic to work with them and keep their business. Don’t wait until you get the notice that they are not renewing their contract with you.