Thursday, 24 January 2008

How to win more customers

I've had two sales experiences recently that brought home how the right
sales processes and managing expectations make all the difference.

Case one - I needed to replace a couple of double glazing units,
courtesy of a suicidal pigeon and an over enthusiastic lawnmower.

I found a local supplier on the net, they came round to measure up and
quote. The sales person they sent didn't seem to know how to measure up
properly and kept trying to persuade me to visit their showroom, which
I explained was of no interest to me. They agreed to email me the quote
the same day. One week later, no email, and a glossy brochure and the
quote arrive in the post. I get a phone message asking if I'd like to
visit the showroom and place the order. I haven't bought from them as I
have little confidence that the units supplied will be the correct size
or that they will fit them professionally.

Case two - I needed a spare part for an old, fairly rare, Honda
motorbike.Trawled the net to find someone who listed having spare for
this model. Found a supplier, phoned them, spoke to someone who was able
to refer to the parts catalogue while we spoke and confirmed, to my
surprise, that they had the part in stocks. I placed the order at about
4pm expecting to see the part, if I was lucky, within five days or so.
The part arrives in the post the next day at 8.30 am !

In case one, commitments were made that were not followed through,
they didn't listen to me and the sales processes is broken. I'd never
use this company and I still need to get those windows fixed, so they
lost my sale and any potential referrals..

In case two, a good sales process was followed and my expectations were
exceeded. I've recommended this supplier to several other people.

The conclusion - get the sales processes right and exceed you customers
expectations to win more customers.

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