Technically, sales isn't a sport; it's a complex and rewarding profession. But since customer contact is in many ways the lifeblood of sales, we should periodically reflect on the quality of our own customer contact efforts - whether we are developing a sales strategy around them and optimizing them to achieve the best possible results. Consider your customer contact habits as they relate to your sales strategy in terms of P-V-F:

P - Be POSITIVE. Every customer interaction should begin with Positive Contact, and that upbeat and empowered energy should continue for the duration of the session. Positive energy conveys enthusiasm, confidence and commitment - all of which are key ingredients to building trusting and productive customer relationships when used as sales tactics. We all have days when we feel burdened with concerns or complaints, but our customers are simply not the appropriate audience for this content. Always strive to be a bright spot in your customer's day!

V - Add VALUE. In every customer interaction, you should be able to identify the value you provided. Checking in with customers to "see if they need anything" is not adding value; reaching out to share a product or service which would benefit their organization and support their goals, IS adding value. Other examples of adding value include: following up to gauge satisfaction with a recent purchase, reaching out with additional insight that is relevant to a past discussion with the customer, sharing relevant industry insights or updates, or recommending an interesting book, white paper or article.

F - FREQUENCY. Be purposeful with the frequency of your customer contact. Not every customer warrants or desires the same regularity of contact, but you should have a plan within your sales strategy for your contact frequency with every single customer and prospect. Be sure to link your plan to your daily/weekly/monthly routine. Incorporate reminder prompts into your calendar. Make planned customer outreach a part of every day.

Applying proactive and purposeful customer contact as a sales technique facilitates strong customer relationships, and, because it keeps us better attuned to our customers' attitudes and needs, it greatly reduces the amount of time we spend putting out fires and repairing customer dissatisfaction.