Okay, today I want to share the best sales tip for the year. It is very simple and straight-forward.
” Ask the Customer what they want and then Listen intently to their answer!”
I am still amazed by sales people and customer service personnel who fail to get clarity regarding what is most important to the customer. The best salespeople and customer service people take the time to learn about what is important to the customer and then deliver it, if they can.
The reason this simple tip is not followed by sales people or customer service personnel is twofold. One, the agenda of the sales person or customer service is to do what they want rather than what the customer wants. This the root cause for all the hostility or confrontation in selling circles. It is also why customers get frustrated and stop doing business with a company or individual.
The second issue is a systematic issue – Rules or policies set up by a faceless non-customer oriented individual. Again, the root cause for the system to break down is they are set as an internal rule with NO consideration for the customer impact – usually negative. Bureaucratic rules and policies should be dealt with regarding the impact upon the customer. If the rules are stupid or restrictive to customer satisfaction – then they will fail in the long run. Common sense needs to gain some ground regarding these decisions.
I recently experienced this type of injustice in customer service where I was basically told I was totally out of luck regarding this issue because their records did not reflect my explanation. DUH! That was the issue, their person made an honest mistake in trying to assist me – but the impact was very negative to me! I was told over and over that their system could not correct “after the fact” mistakes! Again, DUH! When do you believe most mistakes are found? Right – “After the Fact.” I feel sorry for this organization for they will always have to compete on price rather than service levels due to their rules and policies. What a JOKE.
Remember this as you are called upon to set up rules or policies for your organization. Make rules and policies accountable to customers and customer satisfaction. Value-added is a real issue and needs to be at the top of sales, customer service and managerial groups.