Category Archives: Sales Results

Really? Customer Service Is That Bad?

I was recently away on a business trip, and received a phone call from my wife. She was sad to inform me that our PVR (personal video recorder for our TV) had finally died. She promptly made a phone call to our satellite provider, and they gave her two options: 

  • $150 for a repair
  • $500 for a new unit

She proceeded to explain to the agent that one of their competitors was offering a TV and internet package at a very aggressive price. Their response,

“We will note that on your file”.

That’s it? Really?  They will note that on our file?

We may call the competitor and never give our current provider the chance to match packages because of their lack of interest in my wife’s comments. We have had several other issues with their customer service department over the years, so I think it was the “audio-visual gods” way of saying it is time to move on.

Paul Castain had an excellent blog post recently over at Your Sales Playbook which discussed his trip to a local gas station. You can read about his adventures at http://bit.ly/HBF47a

Good friends of ours just returned from a family trip to California, and could not believe how they were pretty much “tossed to the curb” by one hotel, but had the “red carpet” rolled out by another.

I have a strategy that has worked for me a couple of times now, in situations where I was negotiating with customer service in regards to products and services for my family over the phone. There is a certain amount of negotiation that goes on, and you can be put on hold a few times as the options are debated back and forth. I start to lose patience quickly, and have a new technique.

Early on I ask them to pretend that I am very irate (only I am still calm) and request that they give me the best deal or result possible. I call it “the freak-out resolution”.  It shows that I am very serious about being well taken care of, but I don’t want to be a jerk about it. The strategy works well, and lets them know that I mean business, and minimal concessions will not be tolerated.

After reflecting about these stories and many more, I could not help but turn my attention to the sales profession. Customer service support is vital to the success of any sales team, and I wonder how often management and reps evaluate the job that these teams are doing for their organizations.

If you are reading this and are not in inside sales / customer service, you need to realize how important they are to your success, or possibly failure. Too many negative experiences with support representatives could turn off customers. As a manager, you need to provide these teams with all the necessary support and ongoing training to give them the best chance to perform their roles to the best of their ability. 

If you are a rep, you need to have great rapport with the team and be able to assist and support them if things ever go terribly wrong. It is probably in your best interest to bring up any larger issues with your manager first, and let them decide who should talk to the person in question. You can ill afford to lose any customers, and certainly not ones where customer service made a mess of things.

Other things matter too. You need to treat this group very well. They are difference makers and make our jobs as outside sales reps much easier. Be easy to work with, and certainly DO NOT treat them like your personal assistants! Who do you think will get preferential treatment when their time is limited? The reps who treat them like crap, or the ones who respect the job that they do, and considers them a valuable part of the team?

The stories are endless about customer service today, but the horrible experiences tend to get shared much more than the positive ones. 

Let’s change things up a bit….

Send me an email at TimMushey@gmail.com if you want to share a customer service story when they really WOWED you, and exceeded expectations.

Advertisements

Lessons for Sellers from the Unsocial Media

Paul McCord from TheSalesandManagementBlog.com has an incredible post today discussing social media. If you don’t go about it the right way, connecting with somebody can become “unsocial” in a big hurry.

Enjoy his post at the link below:

Lessons for Sellers from the Unsocial Media.

How To Increase Your Sales By Earning The Right – Video By Kelley Robertson

Kelley Robertson is somebody in the sales training space that I admire greatly, and is a fellow Canadian if I may add! In this video, he outlines four situations when you can earn the right to move the sales process forward or ask for the sale.

Kelley is very active on Twitter, and you can follow him at @FearlessSelling

He has an excellent blog which can be found at http://fearless-selling.ca/blog/

Enjoy the video and be sure to connect with Kelley!

Have A Laugh Fridays – Sales Are Up?

Great sales results are always a reason to celebrate! See why this party should not be happening! Check out this quick 30 commercial in my latest edition of “Have A Laugh Fridays”

Have A Laugh Fridays – Sales Excuses

Welcome back to Have a Laugh Fridays. Excuses for not making a sale have been around forever! I thought I would share a video today that highlights some of the more common ones in a humorous fashion. Be honest, how many of these have you used over your career? Have a great weekend!

Career Highlights – It’s Been a Fun Ride So Far!

It would be silly of me to request that you follow my blog and connect with me if I had not achieved a few cool things during my career! There have certainly been some ups and downs along the way, but the ups were fantastic, and I will never forget them.

I have highlighted my biggest accomplishments below:

#1 Youngest Branch Manager (24 years old) in the region’s history of a car rental company

#2 Achieved the sales incentive trip for 6 consecutive years while working with one organization. I typically exceeded budget by 10-30% annually. The achievement that I am most proud of with this organization was coming home from Christmas holidays one year to see a fax that I had qualified for the trip, by beating my budget by less than 1%. That felt AWESOME!

  • Business in the territory doubled from $3.2 million to $6.4 million over the course of nearly 7 years
  • As mentioned in my first post, this was the role where I was offered my dream job at the time, to be the Sales Manager responsible for $40 million in sales and managing 10 associates. It was not meant to be though, as a management shuffle and new ownership steered my career in a different direction. I moved on

#3 Achieved 2nd highest sales volume and 4th highest percentage to budget (out of 20 reps) in the first year in the field for another role

  •  The highlight of nearly 2 years with this organization was being the top rep out of 100+ associates for a North American wide promotion. As a side note, I outsold the entire Canadian sales force!

#4 For my first new business acquisition focused role, I exceeded budget in 3 of my first 5 months on the road. I proceeded to achieve the quarterly bonus for the third quarter that year.

  • I was the number one rep on the team for the first five months of the fiscal year (months 4-8 during my employment)

Success in any role is critical, and I have certainly had my share during my career. I did not want this post to become a brag book, more of a summary to let you know that my systems, philosophies and processes have resulted in accomplishments that I am very proud of. The rollercoaster of emotions, and the always cliché “blood, sweat & tears” have made it all worthwhile!