In business, your success is going to depend upon how helpful and useful you are to your customers. Excellent customer service, yields excellent results, so always maintain focus on the people that pay to keep your lights turned on i.e. your customers. If you’re constantly taking from them, and never giving back anything in return, you’re not going to be in business very long.
So to help you out with these sometimes confusing topics of customer service and sales, I’ve shared some of my go-to tips that I’ve used to not only build a company that provides best-in-class customer service experiences, but best-in-class sales experiences as well. Remember, if you don’t take action on what you learn, nothing is ever going to change. Take what you read here, and do something with it, today, not tomorrow.
Be helpful and useful.
The easiest way for you to become a valuable resource, is to be helpful and useful to your customers. This means, sharing new information with them that’s going to help them grow their business, or cut costs for their business. In some instances, the information you share with them is not going to directly pertain to the product or service that you sell, but that’s ok, because you’re still providing value to them.
You may lose some money initially.
Being the helpful and useful resource may cost you money in the short term, but it will definitely make you a lot more money in the long term. If a law changes in the favor of a client, and it’s going to have them stop using one of your services, let them know anyway. Being a helpful and useful resource is about providing value to your customers, not about robbing them blind when you know that they can be saving money.
When you’re always selling, it gets tiresome for the client, and when a client gets tired, they get frustrated easier, and when they get frustrated they get irritated easier, and when they get irritated it usually doesn’t work out well for you, so steer clear of the, “Always be selling,” philosophy, and stick to the, “Always be helpful and useful,” philosophy instead.
This is definitely what I’ve found to be true, so take it to heart, and commit to be the best resource you can be.
Keep your clients awake.
There’s nothing worse than a sales rep that comes into your office every few months trying to sell you the next greatest widget on the market. Think of the worst sales reps that come into your office, study what you don’t like about them, and then do exactly opposite of what they do when you’re on customer-facing appointments selling the products and services that your business offers.
It takes one to know one.
If something that a sales rep does gets under your skin, you may be doing similar yourself. Take an honest review of how you’re doing things, and make sure that you’re not putting your customers to sleep by sharing boring information with them. Find helpful and useful information, put together a presentation, and go out and have some fun with it.
Don’t get your customers frustrated.
Customers are human, they want to be talked to normally, they want to have clear expectations set, and they want to work with a business that has their best interest in mind. When your business fails to provide clarity, expectations, and trust, they’re going to dump you, and quickly. There are just too many businesses, doing excellent jobs, for a person that gets frustrated time and time again, to decide to stick with you. Remove any customer frustrations immediately, otherwise, they’ll be gone in a flash.
Be invested in your market segment.
To be a helpful resource, you need to be invested in doing business with the market segment you serve. You need to stay up on the laws by listening and reading the news, you must attend industry conferences, and you must be engaged with businesses in your market segment on a daily basis. You need to be able to mix together everything you’ve learned, bake it up, and serve up a delicious presentation that quickly and easily explains what’s changed in the marketplace, and why it’s important that the customer takes action. When you’re helpful and useful, you’re positioning yourself to grow your business in a natural and organic way, which typically yields the best long-term results.
Always, no matter what, be helpful and useful to your customers, and always focus on providing excellent customer service, even if it is to your worst enemy, because you never know if your worst enemy may end up turning into your best friend once the walls are broken down and a certain level of trust is formed. Be human, be kind, be helpful, be useful, and you’ll be successful in business, but always be cognizant of where you’re spending your time, as well as where you’re spending your money.