I don’t need to read a Harvard Business Review Study to know about the natural attrition of sales. If you’re a professional sales person, you are keenly aware of your average retention rate, and the certainty that you will not maintain all your accounts for a long period of time.
There are some accounts I’ve had for fifteen years, and some, half as long. I’ve lost some work to the down-and-dirty group printing of on-line printers or the previously printed items that have gone completely digital. Sometimes I’ll lose a client over price, but not usually. Why? I represent an expertise in printing, not just me, but all the experienced people in my plant. We provide our clients with alternatives, solutions and analytical experience in buying efficiently. Helping clients to analyze their purchases on a yearly budget will typically put less money in my pocket in the long run, but because of that assistance they remain valued clients.
Which brings me to the hype about leveraging technology to retain clients. People maintain clients, not technology. Technology is just a tool, and a tool to be used very wisely. People will always differentiate your business.