Sales Talk: The better to serve you, my dear
In reply to, "What big eyes you have, grandma," the infamous big bad wolf said, "The better to see you, my dear." While he wasn't much of a role model otherwise, the villainous wolf does remind us to make use of the tools we have. Serving customers creates many opportunities for salespeople. The tools of service are not as evident as the eyes of the wolf, but we can see them with our own eyes if we look. And we can develop them. Here are a few for starters: Your inside relationships: Customers should be able to call a representative for assistance. But if he or she is not available, the customer should be able to talk with people who can handle their requests in a dedicated manner. Communicate and form good relationships with customer service people. If you know a customer is likely to call, give details of a problem so preparations can be made. Your own mission statement. The company has a mission statement, and you might have it tacked on the wall. Next to it place a mission statement of your own which emphasizes your personal commitment to serving customers. Your information-gathering system. Don't assume that you know it all about your customers. Find out what questions customers most often ask when they call the office; what complaints are most common; what customers reveal that they most like or dislike about products and services. Use the information to take your service to a higher level. In his book, Raving Fans (Morrow), Ken Blanchard notes that "customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better." That's just not good enough.