What you think may not be what the customer thinks.


past  futureWhat you think may not be what the customer thinks.

Every Wednesday morning we hold ongoing training. I try to have theme based training. As any of you who have kept up reading the blogs I post a lot of the blogs pertain to communication. I believe the reason sales fail is due to a communication breakdown. Some will debate that you can do everything perfect and still the sale will fall through the cracks. That is a true statement. However let us look at who the sale was perfect too. It was perfect in the eyes of the wrong person and that is the sales person. It must be perfect in the eyes of the customer. They are the ones who hold the key to the door that you want to enter.

I was asking plumbers an area of difficulty when they are trying to renew service agreements? Their response is not surprising. A few of their co-workers have been to the home and there to do list suggesting preventive measures do not standup to the number of issues they found. The customer will make a statement that the other plumbers/guys have not said anything in the past.

Before I answer anything that a customer asks I must dig deeper to find out more information. There is a core belief that people make decisions based on what they have seen, heard, or done. The case describe in the last paragraph needs more information to give a good material back to the plumbers. The simple question of what did you say to the customer when they made that statement. As I made my way around the table discussion discovering each person’s reply many things stood out.
1. Preparation
When you are prepared you can answer the customer’s questions and concern’s without trying to defend your position.
2. Communication
Making the right statements to the customer is essential

The reply’s went like this or similar and remember they say these things to customers. I do it this way with all of my clients. This gives each client the same treatment. On the outside looking in this appears as a good thing to say to a client. However it also implies that no one else is doing what they should be doing and you have quietly just burned your co-workers and company. The customer hears no one else is doing what they should so why should I purchase this service agreement again. I did not get the correct service the last few times, what makes me think I will on the next few visits? You may be lucky to get anything out of this service call.

Another response was: this is what I do on every visit I make. This also seems like a good answer and is exactly on the same lines as above. You have just burned everyone in your company. There is no need to use you or your company there is no consistency. The company does not train their staff or they just do not care. Employees can do whatever they want and broken promises are the norm.
A sole proprietor made the statement that it depended on how busy he was. Wow really you are going to tell a customer that the care they receive is determined by how much time you think you have to spend with him or her? You are lucky they do not ask you to leave right now.

Another tells his customers I am not sure why they did not do it this way I was not here. This implies that the other people on staff are not as careful or as good as you. When I call and if I do not get you I will not get what was promised. Why should I purchase this as you have already informed me others are not doing their job properly? The biggest problem is you have told the customer that no one is supervising the others and everyone flies from the seat of their pants. This is no set procedure to follow up on your promise.

How can you be prepared? If you noticed we said renewal of a service agreement. This means your office should have history. Get that history and know what has been completed at this customer’s home and how much he or she has saved by having this service agreement. I have a customer that one of our plumbers visited her. He suggested to her that she should replace the garbage disposal. She became extremely angry at him and wondered why I who had visited her the past few years never informed her of the disposal problem.

He had history and knew ahead of time that I have already spoken with her about the disposal not once but three times in the past. Each time there was a notice on the paperwork the disposal with the reason it should be replaced. It was extremely rusted and the blades were not turning freely. Meaning the food is not being chopped up properly. He was there for a kitchen sink stoppage. Once she saw on her invoices the three notices, she turned to him and said perhaps we should listen more to you; told us what would happen 3 years ago and it happened. This is why we use you.

When you are prepared you can make sense of things and help the customer understand. It will also help you prepare a different way to present the solution that makes more sense to him or her to move forward today. Be ready for anything that a customer may say try to get you to say.
Power-of-Words
Communication is key when others in your company are not following the procedures outlined by company policy. Creating conversation as a peer versus keeping stations set where one is set in a higher capacity is always a dividing feature.By following the procedures in place you can help start developing the company culture that can and will enhance your abilities to reach success at prenominal heights.

Mrs. Client I can make sure to put a note on our computer that will inform any of our staff that visits you to follow protocol. I will also make sure there is a note to give me a call before they visit you. I wish I was as perfect as I sometimes think I am. However I am only human and am prone to making mistakes. It is good to have someone follow me to pick me up when I am not feeling exactly up to snuff.

Mr. Client each person is different. This faucet when new worked with a single finger being able to open and close the valve. I believe the valve should work with the exact same ease as when it was new. Another plumber may feel as if you can have your whole hand wrapped around the faucet and pull it on. The best thing is our service agreement is designed to give you information that is preventive in nature and gives you the opportunity to act proactively. It is your choice and you know what to look forward to and budget for in the future. Sound good to you?

Neither of these ways burns you or your company and informs the customer that from now on out the right thing will be done. You are going to make sure that it happens. Whenever I ran into this problem I made sure my office would write special instructions for the next plumber. Those instruction are treat the customer as I would or they will call me.

Start communicating with your customer and watch what you say. Even the best if intentions can give off bad vibes to a customer. Your words should carry your actions and define who you are. Watch your words as they define your character.

Crossroads Yesterday Tomorrow dreamstime_16469710

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About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on October 16, 2014, in How to sell plumbing, HVAC sales, Life, plumbing sales, practicebetterbusiness.com, Selling HVAC, Selling Plumbing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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