According to a recent survey by a major US marketing company, the main contributor to customer loyalty is not the brand, product or value to price ratio, but the sales experience (53%). The sales experience includes the following:
•The sales person offers unique and valuable perspectives on the market
•The sales person helps a customer navigate alternatives
•The sales person provides ongoing advice or consultation
•The sales person helps a customer navigate landmines
•The sales person educates on business issues and potential outcomes
This is all fine, but there is no point in being a free consultant! Your teaching needs to be geared to your own unique offering and strengths.
So before you do anything else you have to focus on your Business’s unique strengths:
- Flexibility – the ability to tailor your offering
- Access to decision-makers
There may be others that you can think of and use.
For example, you are selling a credit control service. You need to educate the prospect on the impact of debt turn and bad debts. Explain how extended debtor days actually cost the client money and highlight the potentially disastrous effects of bad debts on the business.
Illustrate with a story, a real experience of how bad debts can pull a business down.
Explain the how the facility works and potential funding restrictions; recourse, concentration limits, funding limits. Using properly worked examples is useful.
Explain the charges in real terms.
Then gear your offering so that the client can see that your offer is made especially for them. Don’t give away on all these restrictions but on the ones that will have a real value to the prospect.
Everyone has at some time been frustrated by the lack of quick decisions in finance and banking. Just waiting on a phone listening to a recorded voice can be really annoying. Let alone applying for an overdraft or loan, which can take forever.
Image a world where you phone a bank and a friendly human being answers the phone within three rings, recognises you as a customer and deals with you problem there and then: This is us!
4. Access to decision-makers.
Image the car salesman from the last note: You are keen to buy the car but want a different colour. He tells you that he just needs to talk to his manager, who needs to talk to a committee, then they need to put your request to the head office in Japan. I’m guessing at this point you walk out of the showroom.
You are in the enviable position where you can talk directly to the decision-makers and so can your prospect, there a very few organisations that can offer this.
In your meetings make sure that you take personal responsibility for decisions. Never say “I will need to speak to ‘them’” but instead “I will sort that out for you”.
You are like a lawyer, highlighting all the issues, informing and teaching, but with a view to your unique solution. Leading the prospect down a road to an obvious and inevitable decision.
That he deals with you!