Are you Romancing the Sale before Pitching Your Products?
I had a lively discussion this week with my joint venture partners about before and after sale customer service that resulted in us adding it as a project in Basecamp and working on some guidelines for romancing the sale and creating stand out customer service in our new business, Publish Promote Profit. It brought back memories of a post I’d written for a former blog back in 2008 and, after reading it, thought it was worth sharing again.
“ I had the most dynamic customer service experience when purchasing a laptop. It made the $1800 spent satisfying instead of painful. It also was a great business building lesson that has everything to do with romancing the sale.
I had every intention of coming home with an HP laptop computer that I had researched and determined would be within my budget and provide the features I needed. What I got was a salesman who guided me in making a better decision, saved me money, and offered more value for the money spent.
Customer Service Strategies
Applying these customer service strategies to your business will make you someone people want to return to again and again as an attractive source of information and support.
• Build rapport:
The first thing he did was get to know us. My husband and I are currently residing in Australia, and it was obvious by our accent that we were American. He was from Uruguay, so our initial conversation was about our experiences in coming to Australia. It was genuine and comfortable. He then shared his background in electronics, and what resulted was a feeling of trust that he knew about computers and had our best interests in mind. We felt totally at ease with him and never once felt like he was trying to sell us something. Are you romancing the sale first?
Next, he listened to what we were looking for. I had clarity about what I wanted, had done my research, had shopped other vendors, and had even gone to this store previously and selected which computer I planned to purchase. What happened from here, though, was the key in taking notice of his sales skills. Because he had an extensive knowledge of computers, and had laid the foundation of trust and rapport through casual conversation first, we were open to his expertise. Are you taking the time to listen to what your clients want and need?
• Ask the Right Questions:
From there, he simply asked all the right questions. He asked me if I wanted to save $100 on the purchase…who wouldn’t? He asked me if I knew that another company, a less known brand, made the components for the HP computer I intended to purchase. No, I didn’t. He asked me if I’d rather have a 2 year over a 1 year warranty. Of course I would. And, he asked me if I’d rather rely on a local service center in the US or Australia, or have access to service anywhere in the world. The worldwide option looked attractive to me. In addition, I would get a complete pack of extra components for free and be getting the exact same features as the HP, minus one small item that I didn’t need anyway. Are you asking questions that will guide your client to make a decision that they feel good about?
• Offer Options:
In the interest of saving me money and providing better value, he brought me an option that allowed me to choose something that was possibly better for me. There was no pressure and I felt no agenda on his part. He simply educated us and allowed us to make our own decision. Are you setting aside your own agenda to give your client choices?
• Do More Than Expected:
He walked us through the purchase process personally. He served us coffee while we filled out the forms. He picked up the computer from the warehouse himself, brought it to the counter for checkout, and made sure we got everything we needed. Then, lastly, he carried it out to our vehicle for us. He could have just as easily passed those menial tasks to others, but he personally made sure that we were satisfied to the end. Both my husband and I commented on the excellent service we had just experienced…something not as common in today’s business world. Are you offering people more than they expect?
A few days later we needed a cable and program to transfer some data from my old laptop to the new one. Guess where we went and who we looked for? And we’ll return to him every time we need computer help because we trust his service.”
Today is the perfect time to put these lessons into practice. You have something of value to offer. Are you putting serving others ahead of making money? Enthusiastically giving genuine service by romancing the sale first will provide your potential and existing clients with lasting satisfaction and that feeling of being special. In doing so, you will be an attraction magnet, build a stand out reputation, and have clients who love doing business with you.
Have you ever had an amazing customer service experience? Have you ever had a really bad one? Share below how either of those made you feel.