Last week we went over the importance of asking our customers probing questions in order to determine how they value us and/or our company. By listening intently to our customers’ needs and wants we can determine the appropriate course of action.
As I stated last week, our customers love to tell us when we have failed them. And from my past experiences I can tell you that it is very easy to take it personal and get offended. I would challenge you to refrain from doing that. Here is why? First, when we get offensive and start to explain… we tend to interrupt the customer’s dialogue and replace it with our own. We are essentially replacing their perception with that of our own. And whose perception is the one that matters? It is theirs of course. Secondly, when we interrupt the customer what we are essentially telling them is that what we have to say is more important than what they have to say. Remember, we are the ones who are asking them the probing questions to find out information. Once we have asked the questions, it is simply our job to listen to their response. See the quicker we are able to find out what their issues or problems are…the quicker we are able to solve those problems and gain credibility.
Get this and I mean really get this! If we want to add or create value for our customers we must be able to solve their problems. As sales people we should consider ourselves as Professional Problem Solvers for our customers! I have always stated that “when the customer’s interest is high…that is the time to strike!” Once our customer have given us their issues, complaints and/ or problems, we need to act immediately. This let’s them know we are serious about them and their business.
Here is what I do. I try to correct or handle every issue or problem that my customer has during the sales call. Even if it entails me making a few phone calls. Once I reach the person who I want to speak with, (Manager, Vendor Rep, Marketing, etc.) I’ll inform them that I’m with the customer and the reason of why I am calling! I will also let them know that I have assured the customer that they are person that can help us resolve the issue(s) or problem(s). Now why would I do this? Well first of all, I want to send a strong message to my customer that I take them and their business seriously. Secondly, I want my team members to gain credibility with my customer as well.
There are going to be some issues or problems that we are not going to be able to handle during the sales call. Some of these include but are not limited to, credits, pricing, quotes, product information, etc.). These issues and/or problems will require some time to research. Regardless, we will want to have the same “sense of urgency”. And by the way…when we “lack the sense of urgency” with our customers; what do you think that their perception is? That’s right…that they or their business is not important to us. I will normally go back to the office and do the research necessary in order to get back to the customer within 24 hours. Nothing gains credibility with a customer quicker than “having a sense of urgency when solving their problems!”
Want to create or add value? Be a Problem Solver for your customer!