Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

51 Ways to Get Closer to the Real Boss,

  • Make it a policy to return all inquiry or complaint calls within one hour.
  • Set a goal to resolve every complaint within 24-hours. Then shorten it to 12.
  • Make it a point to personally call or better yet, visit a large cross section of your customers. Ask them how you can better serve them.
  • Personally call non-customers. Listen to why they are NOT buying from you.
  • Send out thank you notes to both new and regular customers or clients.
  • Send out 1000 cards a month – Birthday, Thanksgiving, New Year – whatever. Make sure they hear from you somehow 5-6 times a year.
  • Install a customer “hot line.”
  • Put up signs all over the place saying “(our company) MEANS SERVICE.” Put it on your letterhead, on uniforms, tattoo it on your foreheads.
  • Have your top staff personally answer complaints.
  • Make the product or service you sell a customer OVERWHELMINGLY cost justifiable from the customer’s standpoint.
  • Take a “How Are We Doing?” survey of your customers at least every six months.
  • Have your top management people make sales calls regularly.
  • Become a growth-partner with each of your customers.
  • Encourage innovation – from your employees and your customers.
  • Listen to everyone. Ideas come from anywhere.
  • Avoid moderation in all things.
  • You can measure service. Do it! Everyone!
  • Study the leaders in other industries. Examples: FedEx for delivery. Xerox for quality. AutoZone, Nordstrom, L.L. Bean for service. How can you adapt?
  • Have everybody who works in your operations area go along on at least five sales calls per year.
  • Make sure that everybody takes customer relations training (and graduates).
  • Act as though you are always on the verge of losing every customer.
  • Conduct “exit interviews” with every customer you lose. Have your CEO do some of them.
  • Install some form of group bonus based on reducing customer turnover.
  • Conduct a group brainstorm at least once a month on, “How can we make customer service even better than it is now?”
  • Add a service incentive program.
  • Start a service-to-the customer drive. Do it with lots of “hoopla.”
  • Let quality and service be your goal instead of growth. The growth will come.
  • Let your people know every time they do something that gives extraordinary service to the customer. Reward them at small ceremonies.
  • Combine sales & service into the same function.
  • Dock the commission of the sales-person every time you lose a customer no matter who was the original salesperson. (A tough one that communicates the message that servicing the account is just as important as getting it.)
  • Understand that you are in the PEOPLE business first-everything else is in second place.
  • Never allow your customer to feel they’ve been victimized.
  • Make it easy for your customers to build a strong trust relationship with you.
  • Understand that the faster you help your customer, the more they will appreciate how much you value their time.
  • If something goes wrong, take personal responsibility. Don’t blame your company… say you’ll take care of the problem. Even if you didn’t cause it.
  • Be over-responsive to customer needs and suggestions.
  • Have group brainstorms on “How can we make customer service even better than it is now?”
  • Don’t knock or belittle a competitor! Your competitor may be just as good a person as you – possibly better; and if you don’t keep your eyes open, he/she may have a good chance to prove it!
  • Never break a promise to a customer, whatever the cost. Always keep your word. One failure raises doubt-the next one raises the roof.
  • Seek existing customers opinions about your new ideas or prospective products.
  • If you’ve turned a situation with a customer over to someone else, follow-up to see if everything worked out as expected.
  • Out-serve your competition!
  • Make it easy for a customer to express any dissatisfaction. Give them, “How Are We Doing” forms. Put the completed forms on the bulletin board every week. Post a graph for all to see…tracking customer satisfaction.
  • Become a conscious consumer. Carry a notebook and write down the things that really irritate you as a buyer. Then correct similar things as you deal with customers at your own place of business.
  • Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. The service-person who serves with a dead-pan attitude might just as well work in the cemetery. Customers want vim, vigor, and vitality!
  • Don’t let yourself get too thin-skinned. It takes a tough hide to be a salesperson who can take it ~ and bounce back smiling.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the order! What do you think your customer is doing – making a social call? If pleasure interferes with your business, who do you think is going to draw down your next paycheck?
  • Don’t be too sure your customer is a dumbbell. He/she may turn the tables on you and prove to be as dumb as a fox!
  • Sweat the details. Take care of the small stuff.
  • Take every chance to talk quality and brand. There’s a definite return to quality buying and every bit of it affects you directly and indirectly.
  • Want to know how to treat the customer? Simple! Just like you want (expect) to be treated when you’re the customer.
  • Always remember to thank your customers for their business.

And… Thank You!

Compliments of: Ty Boyd Enterprises