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"Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light."
-- Jean Giraudoux
Five Fundamentals of Customer Care
To give your sales a boost, go back to the basics: customer care. Follow these five fundamentals to create a strong, lasting, and profitable connection to your customer base.
1. Keep learning. However long you've been in the game and no matter your level of expertise, there's always something else to learn about your products, services, customers, techniques, company, and competition that will contribute to your selling efforts. Keep your eyes and ears open to new information, ideas, and strategies.
2. Give away free advice. Make it a sales goal to become a trusted adviser and business resource to your customers. Most of the time, new and repeat customers and increased sales will follow. Your customers should regard you as indispensable – one who gives free, good advice (see point 1).
3. Be consistent. Remember that potential customers are always sizing you up. Your credibility, achievements, and outstanding service in the past can be obliterated in a prospect's mind by your failure to keep your promises. Be in touch when you say you will. Always monitor your turnaround times (because your customers often do). Let your actions match your words.
4. Be adaptable. Successful salespeople stay flexible and open to change. Follow your clients' lead and adapt to their personalities. If the customer is chatty, be talkative. If the customer is reserved and businesslike, create a sense of unity between you by reflecting that characteristic. Always size up your situation, and use your circumstances to your benefit. Ask for a personal endorsement from referrals if necessary.
5. Think resolution and closure. Your constant goal should be to resolve any customer concerns or obstacles to a potential sale. Provide customers with all the information they need and reassure them that a decision to buy is a wise choice. Don't assume the sale is won or lost once and for all on the day you ask for the order; sales are made or lost in the days leading up to your asking for the order.
In any selling situation, customer service is the backbone of success. Many people will not buy the best or cheapest product or service if they have to pay the higher price of dealing with an insensitive, uncaring, or unreliable salesperson. Incorporate these customer-service basics into your own selling repertoire for more sales, more referrals, and more satisfied customers.
– Selling Power Editors
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