Pleasant but deadly

Small, frequent and pleasant interactions by your salespeople that fail to engage and guide customers towards your value proposition are hazardous for your business health.

Seemingly innocuous, when a customer initiates contact with your business and receives little more than a pleasant smile and welcome, you can be sure your business is drastically underperforming.

Mid last year, I walked into a commercial printer. I asked to speak with someone that could assist me with my regular printing requirements. The receptionist offered a pleasant greeting, but she couldn’t help me directly nor was there a person qualified in the office. I responded, that’s ok, I may call back in later. Her, response, “ok, thanks, have a great day.” I then trotted up the road to another print company and we’ve been doing regular business ever since.

There’s no excuse for small, frequent and pleasant customer interactions that go nowhere.

When you add these “seemingly” insignificant exchanges together over weeks, months and even years, you can see just how deadly these interactions really are to your business. And when you factor in the unrealised repeat business, relevant brand promotion and referrals, the mind really boggles.

Sales managers need to step it up! The buck starts and stops with you. Introductions from all team members (even the cleaner) need to be engaging and purposeful if no one else is on deck. Engaging the customer when they contact you or walk into your commercial setting is critical. The introduction should activate the first step of your sales process and once qualified move forward.

If you don’t have a sales team member on hand, be sure to capture key details and make a genuine effort to help the customer feel valued. More significantly, ensure you instil confidence that someone with the appropriate capabilities will respond as a matter of importance within a specified timeframe.

They should then be followed up promptly and professionally. Given a salesperson was not unavailable when the customer initiated contact, ensure you acknowledge the importance of their time. What’s even more imperative is to expose them to a critical piece of information about their business problem or industry competitive advantage that gives them a burning reason to come back.

When you let a customer walk in and then out, taking with them nothing but a pleasant greeting, all you’re successfully doing is sending them down the road to your competitor.

 

Trent Leyshan is the founder and CEO of BOOM Sales! a leading sales training and sales development specialist. He is also the creator of The NAKED Salesman, BOOMOLOGY! RetroService, and the Empathy Selling Process.

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