Customer Service – The Lost Art of Sales

customer-service-sales-techniquesSales professionals know most of the objections they face in selling their product. We work to overcome these objection and focus on closing the sale. We also know the questions that arise about fulfillment and/or delivery of the product we just sold. Why is it that many sales people don’t provide the answers to these questions before they are asked? ……

If we are rushing to the close the sale without the appropriate customer service, we’re missing the larger picture. A top level sales person will slow down and provide the necessary information and ask if they have any other questions, proactively. Sales professionals will make that extra follow up call, post sale, to make sure everything went well. Next time, try toning down the fancy sales techniques and take the time to be informative and friendly. Your customers might just Thank You for selling them.

There is no better feeling than getting a referral from a happy customer, or having a customer come back and purchase from you again. If you take the time to provide stellar customer service you will get more repeats and referrals.

In many sales environments, customer service plays second fiddle to sales techniques. Instead of building customers for life through quality customer service and with an actual sales process, many sales people simply push to tie down the close. While this is important, it risks missing the process of building rapport and investigating a prospects pain points. Instead, there’s a hyper focus on getting the sale. There’s little interest in a prospect’s needs, wants, or desires. The transparency of this superficial approach is blatant. Customers see it, and sales people lose sales because of it.

Perhaps we’ve all gotten lazy and have just come to expect and thus deliver poor service, bad manners, and a total lack of professionalism. Indeed, we live in a Wal-Mart world. At a recent trip to some of the country’s largest retail hardware chains it took me over 15 minutes to find a representative that actually understood my needs. In a local grocery store, the clerk was actually “texting” between customers. The front lines of customer service have gone from ignoring you to actually doing something else while they’re supposed to be serving you.

Bad customer service is devastating financially. The worst part for a sales representative or a business owner, is that you never “really” know how much you are losing. The reason is this: out of 100 upset customers, only 20% will complain – you think great, not so bad. Unfortunately, the rest will get justice by taking their business elsewhere and making it a point to tell at least 10 of their friends and family members. Now you have 800 people who view your business in a negative light.

As sales people, we need to make it a point to WOW our clients. Treat them with respect by returning calls promptly, and actually listening to their needs. Take them through the sales process. Follow up post sale. Before you know it, customers will flock to you and you’ll sell more.

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By Theo and DH

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