Hard is easy, when you discover easy is hard.
Make a sale – that’s the easy part.
Now comes the hard part: Doing everything else.
That’s why it’s IMPERATIVE that salespeople look at the sale as ONE SMALL PART of the selling process. The easy one.
“Thanks for the order, Bill.I’ve given the details to our installation team, your deadlines tomanufacturing and shipping, your training requirements to service, andall of your financial information to accounting.”
Making thesale is not justthe money and the victory. It’s also the foundation for a relationship- as long as the rest of the process flows as you have sold it.
Too often salespeople “selland run,” leaving the details of delivery, installation, coordination,and exceeding expectations to someone else. Big mistake. If you’re insales, and you’re looking to make a successful career of it, you have aresponsibility that extends way beyond a signed piece of paper.
Here are the “beyond the sale” elements than make a relationship probable:
Deliver. After a sale thereis an expectation for delivery. Salespeople tend to delegate thisprocess as much as possible, because they want to make the next sale.Quickly.
Perform as expected. Both asa person and a product, the customer wants top quality, regardless ofthe price they paid. They also expect a quality person to be there tosee things through.
Keep promises. Customersremember promises that salespeople make. Most times better than thesalespeople who make them. If the promises are kept everyone wins. Ifthe promises are not kept, the salesperson loses.
Provide value. This is acritical area as you seek to build a long-term relationship. Value isnot what you add. Value is what you do to help customers understand howthey use and produce, and how they profit from purchase. CAUTION: Whatyou believe is “valuable” may be perceived by the customer as “part ofthe sale.”
Serve personally. Customersare counting on you to know your stuff as it relates to their purchase.They expect you to anticipate needs, coordinate details, and handleevery aspect of the “after the sale” process.
Fix it yourself. When you geta call for service, DO NOT PASS IT ON. Handle it yourself. Customersdon’t want or expect a runaround, they just want it handled, and expectit from you.
Communicate weekly from the time you complete the deal. I have stressed value messages since I began mine (Sales Caffeineis now at weekly issue 297). Until the initial process is delivered,and everyone has been trained or is comfortably using your products andservices, communication should be frequent, and communication tocustomer requests, immediate. After that, you build value towards theNEXT sale by staying in touch with (in front of) every customer everyweek.
WOW! them. It may besomething as simple as fast service or personal phone calls. Buthowever your customer defines WOW!, you better be executing it.
After the sale, salespeopleknow how to celebrate but seem to forget the prime fact that thecustomer didn’t just buy your product or service, they bought YOU. Infact, they bought you FIRST. And they feel let down, even abandoned,when the person they have faith in abandons the process after the dealhas been consummated.
The best thing a salespersoncan do to avoid any awkwardness on their part, or disappointment on thecustomers part, is to set expectations and details for delivery BEFOREthe sale is completed – or, if you’re chicken to make full disclosure(as many are), immediately after the contract is signed.
If you do everything I have outlined, I can assure you two customer responses.
They will buy more, and they will buy again.
When this occurs, it’s notjust a reason to celebrate, it’s a report card that you are doing whatthe customer expects you to do, not just what your company dictates aspolicy or procedure. And it creates the basis for relationship.
NOW, you can ask for areferral and get one. NOW, you can call them on the phone and they’llreturn your call. NOW, you have earned the next order.
Many managers make the fatalmistake of training salespeople to ask for referrals as soon as theymake a sale. That’s not a big mistake, that’s a HUGE mistake. Maybeeven a fatal mistake. You haven’t even delivered. Why would anyone intheir right mind want to help you before you have helped them?
Making the sale is a gateway to a relationship. All you have to do is everything else.
I have a loyalty formula thatwill help you understand this process a bit deeper. Go towww.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter thewords LOYALTY FORMULA in the GitBit box.