I have not only been selling for 35 years, but I have been sold for that amount of time as well. I recall two issues that still stupefy me. And, they both seem to have the same comments.
Many years ago my wife and I were buying our first home. I will never forget to ask questions of the real estate selling professional who told me she couldn’t answer my questions because she never sold homes in my price range.
In the second incident, I was looking for commercial leasing space. Since I only had 20 employees, I wanted to start small and then grow. I initially asked for 1200 ft.² of space. The leasing agent told me it cost him more money to show me space because his time is geared more towards valuable rental spaces of 50,000 ft.² or more.
In 35 years, I have never negated a sales opportunity. Potential customers that have a want or need are serviced. I find that from time to time selling professionals, much like many customer service professionals and even certain small business owners, tend to feel that the consumer is an interruption of the business and not a purpose for it. As a small business owner every single customer matters. Simply put, letting them walk out the door not only ruins your reputation for community building but it also makes you discretionary on whom your clients are. Here are some simple rules of thumb for your small business and your sales professionals.
1. Customers matter – No customer is an interruption of the business they are simply the purpose for it. Poor customer treatment directly harms your cash flow.
2. Follow-up – Selling professionals are paid a salary and compensation for the sole purpose of interacting with consumers and ensuring the successful completion of want or need. Avoidance of customer calls and professional follow-up for potential opportunities allows customers to visit your competitor. All calls should be returned within 90 minutes and all emails and text messages within the hour.
3. Mystery shopping – A crucial aspect of your business is understanding what you’re selling professionals are doing to support and market your business. Therefore, it is imperative that you conduct mystery shopping to understand the professional integrity of your selling professionals. Enlisting friends, colleagues and even former clients to be sold on your services will illustrate gaps, inconsistencies and even harmful behavior.
4. Negotiation – All customers want to negotiate. As a small business owner, it is your call on how much flexibility to provide to selling professionals. Remember, any concession a client wants comes directly out of your pocket.
5. Integrity – Small business must be an equal opportunity advocate. Selling professionals that dismiss potential consumers with negative comments or behavior don’t deserve to be employed. Anybody that works for your business is a direct representation of your core values, your mission, and your vision. Those negatively impacting your core beliefs will mar your community reputation.
As your small business grows, it requires you to delegate several areas of responsibility. These include but are not limited to; sales and marketing, for example, because and not your core strength. Delegation is a sign of strength, not weakness. But when you employ others that refuse to follow your principles and practices, that will become your weakness. Select the proper employees, train them properly, and provide constant and relentless feedback. Good employees ensure that your business portrays the brand you desire.
If your business is not where you need it today and you are seeking higher levels of visibility and greater gains in your marketing approach then connect with me today and let’s invest a few moments of your time with A FREE 30 MINUTE STRATEGY SESSION.
Or, if you’re looking to understand some of the issues and frustrations of your business why don’t you email me today and I’ll send you a free copy of my special report “12 Frustrations Of Small Business Owners And How To Cure Them”.
©2017. Drew Stevens, all rights reserved.
Drew Stevens is the CEO of highly acclaimed Orca Communications a national public relations firm specializing in getting attention and brand recognition for entrepreneurs and small business.