Picture this happening to you. Recently you made a major purchase, one that you hope to make only every few years because of the high price involved. During the time you talked with the sales professional, he made you feel very special.
In fact, he greeted your spouse enthusiastically, and told her what a cute puppy she was holding. He asked: “Tell me all about this fur ball in your arms. I’ll bet she is the queen of your house.”
Realizing you were not a technology expert, he explained and demonstrated what you needed to know about the complex equipment. Even though you asked more questions than most customers probably would, he responded to each one patiently.
You bought the product, and you left the establishment talking with your spouse about how helpful and gracious the sales rep had been.
Fortunately, the product served you well. Even so, four months later, without any feeling of panic, you noticed a blinking light you had not been aware of previously. So you went to the service department, asked what this was all about, and got a quick answer letting you know you didn’t have a problem.
Before you exited the building, you thought: “While I’m here, I’ll just go say hi to Arlin (not his real name) who was so friendly and helpful when I was deciding what to buy.” You found Arlin, approached him, gave him your name, and reminded him how much you welcomed his information and advice months ago.
Arlin’s bland reaction shocked you. You knew you were talking to the same sales rep, yet you felt none of the warmth that seemed so authentic before you signed up for the installment payments.
This time he asked no questions about your use of the product, and you assumed that if you had the dog with you now he wouldn’t comment about your beloved pet. Almost as quickly as your conversation with Arlin started, he said as he walked away, “Good to see you, thanks for saying hello.”
I know how disappointed you would be if you felt practically ignored by your previously effervescent sales guy. I know because I was the buyer in this case.
Oh yes, the company sent me a nice thank you gift a few days later. I appreciate that. Even more, I would have appreciated Arlin welcoming me back as royally as he had welcomed me initially.
Every one of us in sales can take an important lesson from this after-the-sale experience. Namely this: the responsibility of the sales professional to treat the customer with real concern does not end when the check clears the bank, the credit card goes through, the credit rating is favorable, or the product leaves the establishment.
The customer care we show at the outset must remain at the same level of vitality and sincerity the next time we talk with the buyer. Our professional image and the reputation of our company depend on sustained supportive relationships with our clients.
Bill Lampton, Ph.D.--"Biz Communication Guy"—taught at the University of Georgia, and then spent two decades in management before forming his company, Championship Communication. He has directed sales seminars for major corporations and small businesses. His top-tier client list includes Gillette, Sage, Duracell, Missouri Bar, Procter and Gamble, and Ritz-Carlton Cancun. Visit his Web site to see how he can strengthen your communication skills: http://www.bizcommunicationguy.com Call him to discuss his consulting and coaching programs: 678-316-4300