People have been in search of good service for decades, if not centuries. Prospects and customers will continue to patronize the salespeople that provide exceptional service to them. Good, bad, or indifferent, the service that you give when selling has a direct effect on your success in sales. The rewards of exceptional customer service are high – completed sales, referrals, and repeat business.
1. If you say it, do it. Nothing will upset a customer faster than not fulfilling a promise that has been made.
2. Satisfy every customer. At the very least we need to insure that every customer we have is satisfied. In reality a professional salesperson will attempt to take every customer to the next level, that being a personal trade customer.
3. Keep personal problems out of business. Everyone has personal problems. I know that 90% of the people out there really don’t care about your personal problems, and the other 10% are probably glad that your life is more miserable than theirs. When dealing with your customers, always leave your personal issues behind.
4. Use their name. Customers love to be addressed by name. Using their name gives the customer a sense of acknowledgement that you recognize their importance. Using a customer’s name also instills a sense of personalization to the entire sales process.
5. Dress for success. I believe that customers want to deal with professional looking salespeople. No matter what industry you are in, you should always look your very best.
6. Give them your full attention. Always give customers your full, complete, and undivided attention. There is no way that you can concentrate on every word that the customer is saying if there are outside conversations taking place, the telephone is ringing off the hook, other salespeople are distracting you or any number of other occurrences that can take place.
7. Never interrupt. Never, ever interrupt a customer for any reason whatsoever. What the customer has to say is far more important than anything you have to say.
8. No fast-talking. The days of the slick, fast talking salesperson are gone. If you are talking fast and go past a word or a phrase that the customer doesn’t understand, in all likelihood you just lost a sale.
9. Sell with enthusiasm. The amount of enthusiasm that you project in your presentation will have a direct effect on the amount of enthusiasm your clients have toward your products and services.
10. Smile, Smile, Smile. A smile is contagious. No one wants to deal with a sourpuss that acts as though they hate their life, your life, and everyone else on the planet’s life.
11. The Golden Rule. Do unto others, as you would want them to do unto you. Someone said to me recently “Do unto others as they want to be done to.”
12. Make it fun. If it isn’t fun, it probably isn’t worth doing. Whether it be buying or selling, the entire process has to be fun for all parties concerned.
13. Don’t point, take. It is rude to simply point the customer in a direction. Take the extra few seconds and walk the customer over to what they were interested in, even the restroom.
14. Don’t tell people what you can’t do, only what you can do. I get so tired of hearing what people can’t do. The customer only cares about what you can do for them.
15. Acknowledge every customer within 10 seconds. At the very least a customer must be acknowledged when they walk into the store. I would prefer they are greeted, however if busy with a customer at least acknowledge them with a look or a hand gesture.
16. Look for opportunities to provide Heroic Customer Service. Offer to carry a package, walk someone to their car, help them load or unload things, use an umbrella if it is raining. These are the things that customers tend to tell others.
17. Follow proper telephone etiquette. A warm, friendly greeting, i.e. Good morning, the complete name of the business and your name, is the proper way to answer the telephone. If you have to put someone on hold, ask them if its OK. In addition, offer to take a message and make sure the message is complete.
18. Sincerely thank and invite back every customer. Whether they did business or not. To say “your receipt is in the bag, no problem, enjoy, here you go,” or “thanks,” is unacceptable. A sincere “thank you” and an invitation to return is the way to go.
19. Offer a Customer VIP Card. Most people want to be a VIP. Give them the opportunity in your store. Introduce it in a way that is customer benefited, and above all, get permission for future follow-up and an e-mail address.
20. All inquiries must be handled within 24 hours. This goes hand in hand with commandment #1. If a customer has inquired about a repair, special order, date of delivery etc. make sure you handle those situations within 24 hours and let the customer know exactly when you will be getting back to them.
21. Send a Thank You note to every customer that spends over $____. Bring back the lost service of thank you notes. You will find your customers actually come back and thank you for the thank you, thus further developing your relationship with that person.
22. Introduce yourself and attempt to get their name. Always introduce yourself and attempt to get them to tell you their name. Name tag or not, an introduction is more professional. This should be done after having a meaningful, non-business conversation.
23. Answer all questions accurately or get someone who can. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I have heard salespeople say to a customer. Don’t make up stuff, get the correct answer.
24. Review terms on all transactions requiring payments, and have customer sign documentation. Eliminate any misunderstandings on lay-aways, special orders, custom jobs, buys, loans, etc.
25. Go the extra mile. True professionals will go the extra mile and do something different to ensure that the buying experience was a memorable one. In turn you will receive word of mouth advertising. There isn’t a more powerful form of advertising than simple word of mouth.
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.