Sometimes our real-life experiences as customers provide those of us at The Center for Sales Strategy with great examples of how the sales process should flow. Not long ago, my air conditioner died, so I asked my trusted neighbors who they would recommend. We valued their opinion, so we called that company. The next day, this service provider came to our house. (We also called another company, and they said they would come and never did). The rest of the story is near-perfect execution of customer focused selling.
A little background:
The service tech came, said that it was a lost cause, and that we needed a new unit (the unit that died was 30 years old). He gave clear, step-by-step directions explaining what we needed to do next, and said that one of the owners (Brian) would contact me with quotes. I casually mentioned the other owner (Gerald) because of my neighbor… and sure enough, within the hour Gerald called me even though he was no longer involved with giving quotes. (Good listening on the part of the tech, AND customer focused!)
When Gerald got to my house, he took nothing for granted and did a full review for himself. He offered ideas, suggestions and gave me a one sheet outlining what we could expect from doing business with his company. Things like:
- Removal of old equipment
- All service techs wear blue footies and will leave no mess in the house
- Complete clean up on completion of job
- Background checks on all employees… they will not hire anybody without solid background check
- They don’t do new construction because that is not the customer base they want
I immediately thought about two concepts we teach at The Center for Sales Strategy: Personal Marketing Resumes and Capabilities Brochures. He had a one sheet (It was not great, but it accomplished the goal), and it really helped set them apart when he handed me the $6400 estimate for our new AC unit!
- Referrals are powerful.
- No matter your industry, you need to build credibility and establish a relationship with your prospects. How are you positioning yourself to help? Do you offer a solution or a commodity? Do you successfully differentiate yourself from the competition on a basis other than price? (Yes, I needed a new AC, but it was more than air to me. I didn’t want my newly-renovated basement trashed by workers replacing an AC unit.)
Please share your tips for building credibility and rapport in the comments.
Stephanie Downs is a VP / Senior Consultant at the Center for Sales Strategy