You love your customers, of course you do. And you want to get more from them too. But does your customer love you?
Being loved is all about making a long term sales relationship and in the process driving additional sales which is what professional selling is all about.
Ways of getting your customer to love you are well documented. You know, going the extra mile, giving added value, making your customers feel appreciated and listening when they talk. And, above all, providing a level of service that you would expect in return.
But there’s more to getting your customers to love you than that. Time and again I’ve come across three negative business patterns that are so easy to overlook in the day-to-day running of your business and yet can so easily end that sales marriage you desperately want to attain.
Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Create, don’t fight fire
Here’s a trap that’s so easy to fall into. It’s avoidable, of course, but how many times do we do it?
“It” refers to the way you deal with customers. Most companies I observe have a reactive method of customer management. When something goes wrong they fix it.
For example, buying flowers for your other half. When your other half asks for flowers you know it’s already too late.
This is also known as fire-fighting. It’s hard, energy-sapping work and it’s also counterproductive. When you’re in this damage limitation mode you’re not in creative mode.
2. Sell ethically, with integrity
If you miss-manage sales at the beginning of your relationship everything else will turn sour pretty quickly.
Ask yourself, are you over-promising and under-delivering? Do you gild the lily to close that sale? It’s easily done.
All relationships succeed through good, honest communication. Get this right and your business will grow. Get it wrong and the reverse will happen.
An example could be delivery. You know that it will take a week for your product or service to be delivered. You tell the customer four days and there will be tears. You suggest two weeks and deliver within one and bingo, the customer loves you.
3. Gain clarity – know the terrain you’re in
As a sales professional you are driven towards your goals and don’t much like others interfering as you traverse that set path.
Thing is, a certain amount of single-mindedness is a good thing in sales. Too much can do serious collateral damage.
You need to understand what makes your customer tick. Think of this. Do you ask your customer for feedback? Do you conduct customer surveys? Do you ask customers what they would like to see changed and adapt to meet those suggestions? Or do you plough straight ahead in the way you want to do things?
You don’t need me to tell you which approach works best.
It’s time to get more from your customer
By being creative and not fire fighting, selling a service that doesn’t over-promise and listening to your customers you’ll develop a robust route to perfect customer satisfaction. In other words, your customers will love you.
Not only that, but if you follow these simple rules you will encourage your customers to be walking promoters of your business – and that’s gold dust.
To finish, I always remember what an old trader told me:
“Doug, no one talks well about someone they don’t think about or like. You have to love something about someone to go out of your way to promote them – and that’s what you’ve got to give your customers. Something to love.”
By Doug Tucker, Managing Director of Sales Commando, an international sales training organisation. His motto is 'Have fun. Make money' and you can too! More sales techniques, advice and tips can be found in Doug Tucker’s book ‘Sales Commando, Unleash Your Potential’. The book gets straight to the heart of issues, complexities and opportunities and encourages and accelerates personal growth and sales success.