The second article in this series continued to elaborate on the key attitudes salespeople should adopt if they want get to the top and stay there. It focused specifically on the importance of managing, versus being managed by your time. The piece then went on to discuss how critical it is to know precisely what your time is worth.
In the third installment of this five-part series, I will cover why honesty and intelligence in our sales efforts will result in financial and professional rewards. I’ll also discuss why each sales interaction with your customers must be a win for both of you. These are points 5 and 6 from the Make Up Your Mind essay…
5. That honest, intelligent effort is always rewarded.
Each year a survey is conducted among customers across a diverse number of industries. These surveys are focused on what customers value and demand from the salespeople they decide to work with and trust. Guess what attribute tops the list year after year after year? Honesty.
None of us wants to say no to a customer. We also don’t like to deliver bad news regarding a commitment we’ve made, product we’ve recommended, or professional advice we’ve given to a customer. This most often revolves around our fear of losing their business or incurring their wrath over the mishap. Quite often this fear is unjustified. Customers understand that mistakes will be made and will forgive the event (assuming that this type of thing isn’t chronic).
What customers will not forgive is you lying to them. Losing a customer’s business over a mistake may happen, but there is something much larger at stake than lost business, and that is the loss of respect and trust. Hard work and persistence may make it possible to get your customer back. But once broken, respect and trust are rarely restored. Here is a rule that has no exception: Always tell your customers the truth!
They may not like what you have to say and they may bite your head off over the event, but keep in mind that they will more than likely have to deliver bad news to their customer because of your lapse in service. Put yourself in their place. How would you feel if mistakes (yours or those completely out of your control) caused a problem with your customer? You’d be upset. Now contrast that with how you feel when someone lies to you. Mistakes are accidents, but lying is intentional. Don’t do it.
6. That it is to always be a “win-win” encounter.
Customers always want more and they want it better, faster and cheaper. That’s good because it drives the development of better products, processes and service. However, it is a proven fact that a business needs to make a reasonable profit if it expects to deliver better products quickly and with a high level of customer service.
If a company can’t continuously invest in itself, it can’t maintain its competitive edge versus the competition, win new customers and keep current customers delighted. Top tier sales professionals must be adept at communicating to their customers the value of the solutions they provide and the service they deliver. In short, the customer must be shown that their relationship with you is worth far more than they are paying and they must be continuously reminded of this fact.
Expand the conversation with your customer. Detail for them everything they get for the price they pay. Show them how their relationship with you is a smart investment, not simply an exchange of products for money. Demonstrate to them that when you win, they win even more! It’s your job to always make the conversation about value, not price. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when you both win, encounter after encounter.
In part four of this series, I’ll cover the importance of keeping your presentation simple, and why helping is better than selling. For Part 1, click here, and for Part 2, click here.
Until next time…