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Creating Clients For Life

Originally published: 09.01.08 by Tom Piscitelli

Knowing what to do before and after the sale will ensure long-term relationships with customers.

A salesperson should be conscious of the importance of every single customer contact. This can and will include company marketing and advertising, how phone calls are answered, how appointments are set, the sales call itself, the installation, the follow up after the sale, asking for testimonials and referrals, and future marketing to them— every customer connection. These “moments of truth” will have a very significant impact on the final impression left with each person who does business with your company. Customers who are not treated well at every turn become history; customers who value how they were treated and what they received for their money are your future clients, and represent your future income and success. The salesperson should be working within the company to make sure every contact is a great one.

The first impression could be from many sources. Let’s look at a few and what the salesperson should be doing or pushing for:

• Company Truck Signage: Great signage attracts customers and can go a long way in differentiating your company from others. The truck should sell the company, not the products, and always

be clean inside and out. Insist on it! If you have to, wash a truck yourself to make the point.

• Marketing: This includes everything that the company and its team members do to create top-of-mind awareness in the customers’ minds andcause them to call you when they have a need. Make sure that everything that goes in the mail or on the airwaves has customer-benefit statements (save money, improve health, more comfort) and is not filled with technical jargon. And please make sure there is a “call to action” on everything that is produced.

• How The Phone Is Answered: I know this can be a touchy subject; the receptionist/dispatcher/anyone who answers the phone can be the person sitting right next to you every day. Irritate them with criticism and they just might send the next 100 leads to the other salesperson. Well, you’re going to have to take a deep breath and figure out how to work appropriately, probably through your boss/owner, to help him/her get the training they need and the management they need to answer every phone call as if their own future depends on it — because it does. Yours does too.

• Be The Cheerleader: The salesperson should be a cheerleader doing his part to infect all team members with enthusiasm and excitement about how happy customers are with their purchases. This costs nothing and yet can have a big impact on company spirit and culture.

Now for your direct customer contact. Here is a short list of all the service-oriented, soft-selling actions you should be taking:

• Call to introduce yourself and set the stage before every appointment.

• Call on the way to let them know you’ll be there on time.

• Personal appearance, name tag, shoe covers and all that jazz.

• Ask questions and be a good listener; write down what they say.

• Be confident in using your selling skills and believe you’ll sell every job; at the same time be honoring of each individual’s information-gathering and decision-making process.

• Show your customers you are interested in them by asking for their business.

When The Sale Is Made:

• Smile, shake hands and congratulate them on a good decision.

• Tell them what’s next as you complete your paperwork.

• Whatever you promise, such as a phone call the next day from your scheduler, make sure it happens.

• Give your customers your cell phone number and let them know that if they have any more questions to call you.

• Tell them you’ll be getting in touch with them or coming back to see them after the installation to make sure they are completely satisfied with their new system. Tell them that’s when you’ll be asking them for a testimonial and referral.

• Leave behind a packet of appropriate information including your company story information. This will help to reinforce that they made the best decision when they chose you and your company.

• Congratulate them again before you leave.

• Drive around the block, stop your car and handwrite a Thank You note. Put it in the mailbox that day or night so they get in the next day or two.

Tom Piscitelli is president of T.R.U.S.T.® Training and Consulting. For more information on how his System Selling In-Home Sales Call Training DVD, CD and Self-Study Workbook can help you sell more jobs at higher margins and higher prices go to www.sellingtrust.com


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