If You’re In Sales…
12/9/2011 8:27 AM
If You’re In Sales…
If you’re in sales, you’re in customer service. If you’re in customer service, you’re in sales. These two roles are so linked the lines are constantly blurred. Why then do we see the rise of mediocrity with reminders that it looks like neither one cares to make a difference in how they perform.
We have grown accustomed to goods and services that receive a barely passable grade. When the server at the diner, chews gum like a cow chewing a cud. Or the taxi driver, who never acknowledges you as a paying customer and continues to talk on his cell phone. So how much better do you need to be to separate you or your company from the rest of the pack?
I recently went out one Saturday morning in search of an Apple iPhone4S. I stopped at one of the large electronic retailers who have an oasis of phones in one location in the store. I was approached by the staff. I asked “Do you have an Apple iPhone4s in white?” He replied “No”. That was the extent of the interaction. So I went off to the next store. This one owned by one of the national cell phone providers. I signed in and watched for almost 20 minutes as the staff danced and swayed in what looked like chaos in motion. After my name was called I posed the same question and received the same response a simple “No”
Undaunted I went to a smaller satellite phone store. This is where it happened. I met Brian. I was greeted with a smile. I asked my well rehearsed question, “Do you have an Apple iPhone4s in white?” He replied “No”, then he said the words no one else uttered all day “But, I can have one here for you on Monday” Brian made the sale.
The reason for this long tale of a shopping experience that appeared doomed from the beginning is simply this: You don’t have to be 100% better than the other guy. You don’t even need to be 10% better. You need only to care about what your customer needs by listening and finding the one thing that makes a difference. Mediocre is the new norm in our society and for many salespeople. Set yourself apart by taking the time to switch your role from salesperson to customer and see if you make the difference.
You may find it rewarding in ways you never imagined.