In the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” Andy Anderson (played by Kate Hudson) did everything in her power to scare away Benjamin Barry (played by Matthew McConaughey) in order to make him break up with her. Sometimes a business’s management as well as their service and sales department make similar mistakes with their customers. Without realizing, they are making potential and existing customers “break up” with their company! Without customers, there is No Business, No Jobs and No Laundry. Sometimes understanding what you’re doing wrong, instead of only focusing on what you can do right, can save your business and ultimately grow your total sales.
DON’T BE LATE
Your customer’s time is valuable (even if they don’t think yours is). If you have a set meeting with a customer, don’t leave them waiting for you. Getting their business should be the only motivation you should need to be on time. By leaving a customer waiting you are demonstrating to them that they are not your priority. Think of your biggest priorities in your life. Would you be late for those events? First impressions go a long way. Don’t start a potential relationship looking either 1. Disinterested or 2. Unorganized – maybe even both. If being late is unavoidable have the courtesy to call your customer before the meeting time to see if they have time to wait, or to reschedule if it’s more convenient for them.
DON’T GET SIDETRACKED (YES, YOU COMMENTING ON THE RIDICULOUS FACEBOOK STATUS)
Once you’re engaged in your meeting with the customer, it’s ok to discuss matters other than the company and your sale, but try and keep the conversation limited and return to your priority. The best sales people know how balance this by reading the prospect. Remember, they agreed to see you for a reason. Avoid conversations that touch on religion, politics and rival sports teams. You don’t want your business meeting to turn into a huge debate over whether the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs are the better basketball team.
DON’T GET DISTRACTED –
Answering your cell phone, replying to an e-mail under the table, or having constant interruptions during a meeting is extremely rude. It’s a good idea to put your phone on airplane mode during the meeting. Customers hate those types of distractions so wrap up your business before going into their business.
CAN YOU BE TRUSTED? –
Not in the literal sense, but do you know what you’re doing in this industry? Confidence, enthusiasm and perceived industry experience can show your customer the true benefits hiring your service. Attending training classes, preparing testimonials and customizing company literature are a few ways to really stand out from the competition. Know the value of your products and the company you work for. Ask lots of questions to address each customers issues. You will be perceived as much more authentic, credible and trustworthy.
DON’T SIGN AND RUN –
Not following up with a customer after a deal is inked reflects poorly on you and the company. It seems like now that you have the account you don’t need them anymore. Any established sales rep will tell you these customers pay dividends year after year. These customers ultimately change jobs, know other business owners and make for great referrals. A follow up call after the sale to make sure they are satisfied, and even a thank you letter is a great touch and gives added value to yourself and your company.