Selling has many advantages to it. The one most enjoyed is: giving ourselves a raise when we want it by selling more. When we are sellers, we are in the business of selling ourselves to fulfill a customer’s need. Sounds simple, right? Well below are five things that sellers do to ensure they lose business, instead of building it.
1. Going straight to the price as opposed to selling by its value first. Value does not equal price. Businesses put a price on an item in two categories. First is figuring out the costs in making the item. Second is their belief in what value the item brings to a customer. Showing value to a customer is demonstrating how that item can be useful, make a task easier, or improve an aspect in their everyday lives. If you sell them on the value first, price becomes less important.
A few thoughts about selling value over price. First, find out when your customer needs a particular item or service. Oh you need it done today, I will have someone right over. Is price really what your objections were for earning a sale? Apparently not. Second, I find it to be true in emergency services. Businesses under this model almost always include: Mechanics, Plumbers, Electricians, and Doctors. Their selling value is like: not letting your house flood or fixing your car so you can go to work. Most of us do not have an emergency service sales job, so value is more important to us. A perfect close is when we get someone to say “I’ll take it” before we ever tell them the price. When you can do that, you have mastered value selling.
2. Having a bad attitude is a major turn off for most of us who are ready to make a purchase. When a customer walks in your office, they either have a need or their money is burning a hole in their pocket. Whichever it is, a good seller will help them relieve that itch or the burning. Unfortunately, thats not how it happens all too often. Some sales people come across as they are too busy or annoyed you showed up in the first place. I can promise if thats the way your attitude is, your chances of selling to them drops dramatically.
A good attitude is imperative to maximizing your sales. Customers feed off your energy, whether positive or negative. People feel relieved inside when they put a fear to rest after a needed purchase to correct a problem. Our purpose, as a seller, is to match them to the solution to their problem, for a small cost of course. It makes the whole process all that much easier when we have a good attitude. A good attitude will take you closer to a sale. A bad attitude will many times take it away.
3. Bashing your fellow employees or distributors makes everyone look bad. Many sellers think its always someones else’s fault. I’ve heard, the warehouse manager didn’t get it up before the shipping company showed up. My dumb dispatch manager didn’t get the paper work out in time. Our driver was late to work and we couldn’t get it delivered when we said we would. Sound familiar? What have salespeople told you when you called to check on something that is late?
A business is made of many moving parts, and yes like anything else with moving parts, mistakes and breakdowns happen. Deadlines sometimes aren’t met when we think they should have been. When you speak that way to a customer, the only one who feels they made a mistake is the customer. They made the mistake of using your company full of dumb dispatch managers, bad warehouse managers, horrible drivers, and a horrible customer service rep. Would you do business with someone who had all of the above ? I doubt it you would either, which leads us to the next topic.
4. Not taking care of a problem is the most detrimental thing you can do to yourself and your employer. Items in warehouses get lost, shippers lose packages, people make mistakes and lose work orders. We all hate it when it happens, but again, businesses are made up of many moving parts. Sometimes the parts do not move together in perfect cohesion. If we sell it, its our job to see it through to the end, whether the problem is our fault or someone else’s.
When you do realize you have a problem with a delivery, missing a deadline, or have to redo an order because you sent it to the wrong place, there is only one thing you need to do: Get in touch with the customer and tell them. Yes its that simple, are they always going to be happy? No, but the worse thing that happens is a customer calling you or your company because an item is not there as promised. When its them doing the calling, because you didn’t, its typically a worse situation. Communicating with them as soon as you are aware of any problem will earn their respect. Yes, they will probably will still be agitated about the inconvenience. It shows good customer service skills to show you care about their problem, and are doing everything you can to get it fixed.
5. Not Following up is the number one thing that has been lost in the new age of sales. Companies I buy from want me to take time to fill out a survey now. Thats their “followup” on your experience with them. I read reviews of businesses on websites all the time. One thing you notice quick is: The customers who feel jilted, post on all of them. The ones who’s transactions went smoothly, usually don’t post anything. Don’t be that company or that guy, that makes the experience so awful that someone takes the time to write a bad review about you or your employer.
Companies that do the best follow up are the ones who succeed the most. Apple’s customer service is the best I have ever experienced. How are they doing by the way? The same principal of success applies to sellers. The best sales people follow up with their customers. Email, phone calls, or a letter are easy ways to make a customer truly feel valued. Even more, it makes them want to use you or your company again. The smart companies know this and still follow that philosophy. What the top brass does has a trickle down effect. Following up on a customer who had a problem is priceless to the customer, and priceless for you and your company.
Selling is like many things in life. It takes good practice of knowing things to do, and the things not to do. Most of us in sales do have intense jobs. We must train ourselves with the correct ways to handle problems. We must always keep practicing them or otherwise we can easily fall into bad habits. The one thing I love about sales is that very fact. We are always in demand and usually never bored. What more could you ask for? Well maybe a raise every once in a while.