One of the biggest challenges facing any business is keeping in balance. In many businesses, more emphasis is put on getting new business than serving existing clients. Next to sales functions, customer service functions are vital to overall success and must be given appropriate emphasis. Poor customer service will cost a company as much business as will having a poor sales person in the field. Both can damage a company’s reputation and potential for future growth.
When businesses don’t properly serve the customers sales people bring in and the clients go elsewhere, businesses sometimes assume they weren’t good sales in the first place. That is not often the case. Where do customers go who don’t stay with your business once they’ve made a single purchase?
Many simply buy from someone else. Amazingly, a large number of sales people who don’t make the sale assume that most potential customers never made a purchasing decision at all. The sad truth is that because of this belief, they do not institute a proper follow-up sequence! If they would have followed-up, they would have discovered that the prospective client most likely bought from someone else. They either found a product or service that they liked better or a more persuasive sales professional.
I have a philosophy to share with you. Please commit to this statement: “If I am a pro, they will buy from me unless they go out of business, or die.” Commit to yourself that you are going to be so professional that they are going to invest their money with you unless they are no longer in business or the decision-maker passes on to his or her heavenly reward. That may sound extreme, but that’s the way you have to feel if you want to get the business every time.
Another thing that happens to people who don’t do business with you is that the contact person or purchasing agent is replaced. In many businesses, purchasing agents change quite frequently. Every time there’s a new person charged with making the buying decisions, you need to start over with gaining his or her confidence and continued business. That’s why it is important to keep watching every business in your territory for changes in decision-makers. When they change in a company whose business you don’t already have, you can start fresh in your attempts to get their business. Remember, even if the competition serves them now, that sales person will be waging the same battle you are to win continued business.
The third reason people don’t do business with you is that you have lost them to the competition. I hope you will be mature enough to say, “If I lost the business, I got beat because of skill and talent. I’m going to increase my skill level so it won’t happen again.”
There will always be those clients that you simply cannot please. I’ve had clients and customers I’ve given so much service to and I know I earned the business, but for one reason or another I didn’t close. I used to blame everyone else for these failures. However, the more I look at selling, the more I realize that if you lose to the competition, it’s usually because they outperformed you. That’s when you need to set a goal to get better at this game of selling.
The last reason customers don’t buy from you is you because they no longer use your type of product. If they have literally changed their way of doing business and your company doesn’t have a product to satisfy the needs, you’re going to lose the business. Accept it gracefully and move on to someone else you can serve. Your attitude at a time like that can earn you future business should their needs change.
Tom Hopkins has trained over 4 million people in sales on 5 continents. His simple, yet highly effective selling strategies have been proven to work in every economic cycle and thousands of cultures around the world.