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What can be done to improve a customer relationship that is having AR issues?

Posted in Sales on November 10, 2011
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Tim is a regional sales manager for a manufacturing company.  He prides himself on his ability to land those big accounts and has a great success rate.  He spends most of his time on the road maintaining great relationships with his customers.  Tim got a call last month from Marilynn, his company’s AR Manager, who told him his largest customer was not paying on-time for the second month in a row.  Tim talked to his customer and asked if everything was ok, which it was, and passed the info back to Marilynn asking her to contact them directly if there are any other issues.  Another month has passed and his largest customer called him very upset that his current shipment is late.  He talked to Tim’s customer service group and was told there was a hold on his account.  Tim was very surprised and told his customer he would fix the problem and get right back to him.

  • What should Tim do? 
  • What questions should he be asking and what actions should he take? 
  • What can Tim do to ensure this situation does not happen again?

Comments (1)

SalesAddict posted on: April 24, 2012

The first thing he should do is go to the accounting manager and get him/her to release the hold on the customer''s shipment, explaining that this is a very important customer and needs to have special treatment. After the shipment is released Tim should set up a call with his customer to explain why the delay had occurred, and recommend that in order to ensure it does not happen again, they should have a conference call with both accounting groups, as well as Tim and the procurement person at the customer. By doing this they can set clarity on the terms they can all live with going forward and establish relationships between the two companies that go beyond Tim and the customer. In the end, the sales relationship and responsibility to maintain the customer should span throughout the organization, not just with the sales guy. By creating these links in his organization with his large accounts, he will be sharing that responsibility.

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