In real estate it’s location, location, location and for everything else, it’s service, service, service! Yesterday I read a blog by Seth Godin that discussed great customer service and it got me thinking about an experience I recently had in Milford, Pennsylvania.
I had enjoyed lunch at the Milford Diner, and upon leaving my car was offering no love…my battery had gone completely dead. Looking around I knew there were several repair shops within walking distance, but since it was raining, I choose the closest one Ray’s Auto Repair. Walking over, I spoke to the woman at the counter, in their living room like waiting room, who indicated to me the jump would cost $15 and she would send a tech right over. He arrived with a portable jump kit, which, alas, could not do the job (I have a big V8 Hemi which needs a lot of juice to get started). Walking back and forth, he tried several different battery powered jump kits, all to no avail.
Within only one or two minutes several techs arrived and they pushed the car over to their bay where they proceeded to get it started, as well as checking the quality of the battery. As I saw on their computer, the battery was bad, and the news got worse–$189+tax and install to replace it, $220 in total. Ouch! I had to make it to the bank in the next town and contacted the Auto Zone to check the price, which was $50 less. I purchased the battery and returned to Ray’s for the install as I wanted them to have the business. They installed it in 5 minutes and I was good to go–no charge! Now, they have my business forever–the BBB sticker they display is no lie.
All the time I notice companies with great customer service and terrible customer service–our company, Webvantix, does telemarketing, and I find it interesting how companies with great customer service are kind to telemarketers, and those that don’t count customer service as a key to their business can be downright nasty.
It’s compelling to think how important customer service is, not only to existing customers, or prospective customers, but to everyone, at all times–and yes, even telemarketers…who can be customers too!
What’s your opinion? Have you had really good customer service at the local level, or really bad customer service? When, where?
Never was there a more quintessential sales book that Tom Hopkins’ How to Master the Art of Selling. This book, without question, presents several cheesy salesman’s one liners: If they say yes. (“Yes, we own a boat.”) “Oh, fine. May I ask you what type and make it is?” Wow, if someone said that on a cold call today, the response could be very ugly (by saying “may I ask,” only invites the “no” response, and then where are you?) A hint to all salespeople, stay away from closed ended questions!
Yet, parallel to this Tom Hopkins offers terrific ideas that enable you to utilize phrases that will make your prospect more at ease and ultimately look upon you as a trusted consultant to their business, or to them personally. This is a genuine capability great salespeople have, quite simply they advise from the heart, with honesty and clarity, and at the same time can use language and phrases properly to make their point.
The idea in the book is that great salespeople lead, they do not push, and I believe that is very true. In today’s world everything, and I mean everything, is commoditized–yes websites, which we sell, are a great example. Many of our prospects are looking for the best price, but at the same time, do they really want to sacrifice value? Of course not. Therefore, the key virtue that is extolled in How to Master the Art of Selling are guiding the prospect to the understanding of how what you offer, is specifically valuable to them (monetizing your product or service).
Tom Hopkins is big on preparation. Know what your “Rejection Words” are and replace them with “Go Ahead Terms,” be aware that a No now, is only one step closer to a yes, all you have to understand is how many ‘no’s’ it takes to get to a ‘yes’ and you will thank someone when they say no–I love that and have believed it for years!
Digging into the chapters this book enables the reader to be very clear on what to do in certain situations, though it’s your responsibility to sift through things that really don’t apply to 2009–sorry but if you try to Ben Franklin close someone they will see that coming a mile away!
I recommend reviewing and re-reviewing the following chapters:
Chapter 4: Creating the Sales Climate
Chapter 13: The Objection Connection–Really read this!
Chapter 14: Closing is Sweet Success–Test closes is great.
In this environment and this economy sales is very difficult and prospects have little time or patience for sales games, ultimately what the salesperson must make clear is how their product or service will help their prospect:
“Mr. Prospect, I understand the difficulties of today’s economy, and that investing in a new website at this time may seem like a poor business decision, and if you look at it as an expense instead of an investment, perhaps it would be, but a properly designed and coded website can drive new business right to your door, and that’s what we all want, isn’t it?”
I highly recommend Tom Hopkins’ How to Master the Art of Selling, but use it wisely and learn the skill of listening to your prospects and working with them to find the best solution to their problems…
Next time let’s discuss proper listening.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the review; please let me know what you think, I’m interested in all opinions!
As a commissioned salesperson for all of my career I have developed quite a collection of ‘sales’ books. Several years ago a painter who was working in my home looked at my collection and said “did you read all those?” I smiled and said “absolutely, some several times!” I guess I’ve become a sales book junkie of sorts, but overall my thought by reading these books was not to become great at convincing people to buy things they don’t need, but to develop the skills that enabled me to properly present a solution to someone’s problem. Of course there are many frustrating variables and hurdles that come before the actual culmination of a sale, but sales, providing you can stomach the ups and downs, is a very rewarding career. Just remember, no matter what someone does, they, at the very core, are in sales.
So, going forward I’ll be reviewing some of the books I have on my shelf, many of which I have taken extensive notes on, and actually have transcribed those notes onto MS Word, and if you’re interested, just let me know and I’ll send them to you (I find them helpful to reference when I have a difficult situation).
I’m excited about posting my reviews and look forward to highlighting the ideas I have gotten by reading them. I also look forward to your thoughts as well.
In the summer of 2008 when we initially spoke with TLC Properties of Springfield, Missouri we discussed re-designing their flagship website, yet at that time their most pressing need was the development of a website for their corporate suites business, TLC Corporate Suites. Within four months of the TLC Corporate Suites site they had booked an amazing $30,000 of new business. Needless to say, they were very pleased, and we again began to discuss their flagship site, and how it was failing them.
Metrics: TLC Properties’ website had been developed to showcase their apartment complexes in and around Springfield, Missouri, and to help create interest in their apartments. Unfortunately the site was badly missing the mark and the response was tepid at best:
Google organic search ranking: Not in the top 35 pages; Average time on the site: Less than 30 seconds; Bounce rate in excess of 50%!
The Problem: TLC’s website did nothing to create interest from the website visitor’s perspective. Essentially, it was just an online brochure with no interactivity that spoke to who TLC’s prospective customers were.
TLC Properties Before Re-Design
When we discussed the specific problems TLC Properties was having with their websites, from owners Sam Coryell, Sr., Sam Coryell, Jr., and Jacob Harvey (Director of Marketing), it was clear that they wanted a website that would greatly enhance their online visibility, yet also keep the interest of the website visitor.
The Solution: Re-Design the TLC Properties website around what visitors to the site were really seeking: Their New Home!
TLC Properties After Webvantix Re-Design
Incredible new metrics:
Since the re-design the metrics have been off the chart: Bounce rate once over 50%, now under 20%; overall traffic up over 40%, Google indexing previously not in top 35 pages, now between pages 3 to the first page; time on the site from an average of 30 seconds to 5:20!
“When we decided we needed to re-do our flagship website, we again chose Webvantix to develop it. Needless to say, we have been very pleased with the sites Webvantix has developed for us.” Sam Coryell, Jr., (Co-owner and COO, TLC Properties, Springfield, Missouri).
If you would like to discuss similar problems your business website is encountering, simply give us a ring…800-232-1206, or E-mail us here.
Also, please feel free to Leave a Comment below; we would love to know what you think…
Last week Google unveiled its “Wave” that is essentially a new way to collaborate with multiple individuals through both email, and IM. Google’s Wave offers interesting twists that are designed to streamline communication and pull down silos that have existed between all different types of online communication. (I love the way e-mail, when e-mailing with someone online, turns into a virtual IM platform…very cool stuff.) Here’s a screencap:
Google Wave Screenshot
Here is the abridged version of the 1 hour 20 minute video. Check it out, and then let us know what you think of Google Wave.