To succeed in business, you must make it quick, easy and pleasant for people to do business with you.
A prime example, as I’ve often said, is answering the phone on the third ring with a pleasant, “Thanks for calling XYZ, how can I help you?”
People like to do business with someone who is helpful, attentive, responsive and reliable – every time.
Habit is the most powerful selling force. Your goal should be to get customers in the habit of doing business with you — of contacting you first. And then you must take them out of the market ASAP. When you don’t answer the phone every time, chances are customers will call someone else.
In those instances when you are on the phone with someone else, provide a voice message that you will get back to them in a few minutes. And when you hang-up, make sure you do exactly that. No exceptions! The same can be said for emails, text messages, etc. Respond immediately – even if it’s an “I got your message and I am working on your requirements.”
Keep customers informed throughout the day that you’re still on top of their situation – even if you don’t have the answer yet. That’s selling – even when you don’t get the order, that’s selling the next order.
Keep reliable notes – preferably in a spiral notebook that’s always at your fingertips. Use marginal notes to indicate actions that are still pending. Learn how to forward reference and backward reference. Keep a separate page for your best customers on which to backward reference to the dates of past calls. Then when they call, you can quickly reference their previous contacts and requirements and mentioned them. This will impress them – that you are on top of their needs, wants and expectations – that you are there most reliable and attentive provider.
I know this is an old sermon – one I’ve given hundreds of times over the years – but I’m convinced it is one of the most powerful means of building a successful business and customer following. But you must to do it – you must do it every time – you must never fail to do it every time. That’s selling – that’s real selling – that’s building a customer following that will reward you for years to come.
And lastly – always ask for the order. Even when a customer call requires follow-on work, ask for a commitment. And if they won’t give it, ask how much time you have to satisfy them. If they want an immediate answer, give them a safe commitment and ask for the order.
Don’t be discouraged if this methodology doesn’t work every time. It won’t! Don’t let it get you down or cause you to become negative or hostile. Selling is a profession with many more failures than successes. If you’re succeeding every time – you’re probably priced too low or not trying hard enough to develop your market.
Form good habits and become their slave. Make this methodology your habit and enjoy the success that will surely follow.