29 Dec Are you churning and burning your customers?

Most of us trust most products. We trust that our washing powder will clean our clothes, that our Vegemite will taste like Vegemite and that Panadol will fix our headache in 20 minutes. But we are far less trusting of the services we buy.

A sleek, silver Mercedes sells itself in many ways, whereas a financial planning service, insurance plan or web development service cannot speak the volumes of the Mercedes.

As consumers we experience worry about services before, during and after the service is purchased. Mostly this is because sales people often churn and burn – in other words, they sell the service and then head for the hills and don’t want to know about any delivery issues that arise after the customer is ‘across the line’.

So the job of the sales person is to soothe the worry of their customer. Remember, it’s not about just getting the sale over the line in this moment. It’s about managing your sales referral pipeline for years to come.

How do you do that?

In the initial phase of the sale be sure to visually represent your service to ensure your potential customer is comfortable with the look of what they are buying – it’s like you are turning your intangible offer into something visual and tangible.

During the sale be sure to provide in writing exactly what the customer is going to receive to manage their expectations.

After the sale don’t set and forget. Make sure your service people are on top of the delivery, immerse yourself in the procedures and processes your delivery colleagues use and suggest ways to re-engineer the systems if they don’t live up to the promises you make to your customers. This is so that you can be sure that all your hard work as a sales person doesn’t go down the drain when the customer receives poor delivery (or worse still, doesn’t receive what they think they purchased).

We know that a happy customer rarely tells anyone about how happy they are, but an unhappy customer tells everyone they can find to talk with about why they wouldn’t recommend you. Mange your long term sales pipeline by caring for your customers throughout the sales process.