When someone at my current company asked me to share a company-wide “Sales in 60 Minutes” presentation so that each employee had a more business development-oriented mindset, like our department’s sales hunters, I felt that everyone, every single person in our company needs to remember if we disappoint, we get fired. Maybe not that day, but definitely soon. And if that happens often enough, we are through.
Moved to a Sale
The heart of what every employee, regardless of duties or station, need to keep in mind first is that everything we do, we do for our customers. We are in business to solve their problems. They reward us for doing so. It really is that simple. So how we interact with them, and what they take away from every interaction, is what Jan Carlzon refers to as a “moment of truth”. It is up to us to make each of these moments both memorable, positive, and successful.
In a Nutshell
While there are hundreds of mantras out there, or ideologies to what a customer needs in any interaction, it boils down to:
- Reliability – doing something when you say you will.
- Emotion – being optimistic, helpful and under-promising to over-deliver.
- Asking for help – bringing sales staff or customer service as soon as appropriate.
- Continuity – ensuring what people see is the same across materials, websites, email, etc.
- Tenacity – always asking how else we can help and exploring cross-sell opportunities.
More money is made through trust and connections than any outbound mail campaign, online ad, or sales call. It is of the utmost import that if, in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person happy with your services, be particularly careful to ask for his or her recommendation, so the world at large convinced of our good works. One of the greatest lessons I learned in sales training from David Sandler was that the moment when someone is signing the contract or giving you the official go-ahead is the best time to ask for referrals. This turned out to be very, very true in my real estate practice and now, in global banking.