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If You Don’t Care – Don’t Ask.

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

If You Don’t Care – Don’t Ask.

“How are you today?”

 

Sounds good – doesn’t it? If the person asking really cares, it’s great. However, I bet if you keep track of the number of people who ask you this question over a period of time, you’ll find that they may not care about your response.

 

This topic has always been intriguing to me. I believe most people feel uncomfortable answering this question honestly when they don’t know the person who’s asking. It’s considered personal, inappropriate or not relevant to the topic at hand. (When we know the person, and have a relationship with them, this may be very relevant and appropriate.) It’s a “cheesy” way to break the ice when the caller is looking for an answer of “fine” and then hoping to move on to the next topic.

 

My goal is to make sure that people really care when they ask – or that they just don’t use this approach to start a conversation. As a salesperson, please think about this point when you don’t have an existing relationship with the contact.

 

When I receive calls from people I don’t know, and am asked this question – I answer them honestly and with details. They may be looking for a “fine”, but they may get a lengthy answer. For example… Question: “How are you today?” Answer: “Great. I got up early extra this morning, had a great workout at the gym. Then, I stopped by Starbucks and got some coffee. Normally, I have a grande size of their bold coffee of the day, but since they had Sumatra, I had a venti size (large). It was so good; I ordered a second one for the road. Then, on the way to the office…” You get the idea.

 

Another option would be “busy” - which can instantly kill a call.

 

Or, I may say “terrible” and give them some details. This normally will also kill a call; however, you may be surprised at the number of times this response gets no answer at all, or an answer like “great”. In either case, it’s obvious that the person either doesn’t care or isn’t listening. Try one of these answers next time you’re asked “How are you today?” from someone you don’t know (live or on the phone).

 

If you’re looking for an ice breaker, consider making a statement, like “I hope you’re having a great day” or just go into “the purpose of my call is…”

 

In either case, please keep this blog in mind before you ask “how are you today?”

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Needs Analysis  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Education  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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Just one call a day!

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

 

Just one call a day!

 

That’s approximately 250 calls per year. Good things will happen when you make 250 new prospecting calls per year (even better is 2 per day = 500 per year, and so on).

 

I have a client that no matter how busy they with their current clients, makes 1 ice-cold prospecting call per day. She calls it her “Random Call of the Day” and it usually is at about 9:30 every morning (when it’s time to refill her coffee). So far for the year, she has converted 18% of these calls to clients, and another 13% are in the current pipeline. That’s nearly one third of her total calls resulting in sales or future potential. These are excellent results for prospecting calls! The secret to her success is that she has no fear whatsoever making 1 call. She truly believes that the worse thing that can happen is that they say “no” or don’t return her call. That’s okay with her, because the answer was already “no” before she made the call. “Anything I get is a bonus” she says.

 

In the words of Col. Hannibal Smith of the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

 

Have a great week!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Needs Analysis  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Education  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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How Not To Lose Customers

Posted By Frederic Carr, RE/MAX Excalibur, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How not to lose Customers

  

“The easiest way to grow your customers is not to lose them”, so says Robert Clay of Marketing Wisdom. Businesses lose 10% to 20% of their customers each year for numerous reasons and the reasons may startle you. Inattentiveness, lack of communication, lack of extraordinary customer service or service negligence.   Whatever the reason, the consequences of the loss can be catastrophic to businesses of every nature.  However, while there is no magic answer, there are immediate resolutions to help you retain your clients.  

Extraordinary Customer Service: Each and every employee should be dedicated to the idea of delivery of amazing and superlative service to each customer that walks in the door. This means knowing their names, their treatment history, their goals, and their priorities. Also, responding immediately to their needs, going above and beyond the norm, delivering service that you want personally. This is an attitude that needs to be instilled every day, in every way.

Reliable Products and Services: Very few things can turn a customer against your business than unreliability of a product or service. Ensure that what you offer has the stamp of approval of virtually every employee. This means that products and services must reassure customer satisfaction. What that means is satisfaction guaranteed…not just guaranteed but assured. Nothing says confidence like a product or service that the business and employees stand behind. Nothing can ruin customer confidence like a product or service that fails to deliver what is promised. Ensure that the staff is well versed in the value of a product and service and can relate that to the client and ensure that using a product or service is the norm.

Reconnect with the “drifters”: Those clients who have not kept appointments, who have not returned for months, who have not purchased must be reengaged. These clients must be reactivated buy using some basic communication skills that everyone can help with. Emails, phone calls, letters offering specific incentives, special deals and other enticements to return. Every week or month, a select group of drifters can be contacted by the staff and offered encouragement to come in and get a product or service. Minimally, these clients could be a source of dissatisfaction that can be dealt with internally. If there have been problems in the past assure the client that things have changed. These retention ideas are merely a few of the things that can be accomplished regularly that work to ensure that you won’t lose 10 to 20% of your hard won customers.

 

Tags:  customer service  increasing sales  relationships 

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Call Me After the Holidays

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

Call Me After the Holidays

If you haven’t heard this comment from a prospect or customer yet, you soon will.

They may not want to see you until January; however, you certainly can try to set an appointment now for a future time in January.

Next time you hear this comment, instead of just calling back in January, consider a response like… “I certainly understand. Can we schedule a time now for a meeting after the holidays?”

Having appointments set up for the first couple of weeks in January will help you start the year strong. Otherwise, you may not be able to see these people until late January or even February – losing valuable time. If you sell a product or service with a recurring, repetitive, or a trailing revenue stream, getting a fast start to your year is critical. Mathematically, the first quarter of the year can be worth as much as 42% of your annual revenue opportunity or potential.

Lay the foundation now for a great 2018!

Have a great sales week & enjoy the holiday season!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Prospecting  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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Think Twice Before Posting a Negative Review

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The Impact of Negative Reviews
It is widely known that negative reviews can harm a business: but how many people realize the true extent of their actions on the company? With the greater accessibility of online platforms, many customers find it simple to vent their rage over a slight mishap at the restaurant in the form of a negative online review. However, little do they know that their heated words are the cause of a failing business and a perilous situation for many employees. 

A negative review can cripple a company in two significant ways:

•    Customers are warded off by the unappealing comments.
•    Business sales rapidly decline

According to recent statistics, 88% of customers are known to believe online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation – this illustrates exactly how important a review is to business. Moreover, 92% of customers tend to read online reviews, which is 4% more than in 2014. Therefore, your one negative star rating will be read by countless others who may very well reject the business, in favor of another. Is it worth creating so much loss for people over a five-minute delay in service? It is immoral not to consider other available options instead of instantly expressing our dissatisfaction in the worst possible way. 

For example, when you feel as if the service provided is not up to the mark, how about requesting to speak to the manager – take for instance the head chef in a restaurant – and express your queries on the spot. A confrontation helps resolve the problem much quicker and far more cleanly than an online review: the necessary steps are undertaken instantly. Another viable option is to call the manager and book a private appointment with him/her to discuss the problem. You may even be given a gift coupon or a refund as compensation.  

We’ve been taught in life to give everyone a second chance – so why not give the company the benefit of the doubt? Maybe a new employee came in and jumbled up your order; maybe they were just having an off day. If the deed was not that significant then consider going one last time again: who knows, your new experience may be radically different from your previous one. This method is much fairer than ruining business for one botched event.

Negative reviews are not the only option to express our dissatisfaction with a company. Keeping in mind the seriousness of a negative online review, how harshly it can impact a business and the much friendlier options available to a client instead, we should carefully consider our actions before inflicting undue harm upon others. 
 

Tags:  business  customer service  negative  reviews 

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Customers Driving you Crazy - 7 Tough Situations

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, May 16, 2017

 

Turning Difficult Customers Around

Over time, you and your coworkers have probably developed some effective ways of dealing with challenges that come up in dealing with difficult customers. Sharing those ideas can benefit everyone.

The seven situations of difficult customers (and suggested ways of dealing with them) are:

  1. You don’t know the answer to a customer’s question (Tell the customer that you don’t know the answer, but you will find out)

  2. You have to say no to a customer’s request (Explain why you have to say no; offer alternatives)

  3. Your computer is working slowly and the customer is getting impatient (Tell the customer your computer is working slowly; keep the customer informed about what’s happening)

  4. The customer makes an unrealistic request (Explain what alternatives you can offer)

  5. The customers doesn’t seem to believe you (Offer to show proof or backup information)

  6. The customer is angry (Stay calm; acknowledge the customer’s feelings)

  7. The customer doesn’t want to give you the information you need (Explain why you need the information)

Although the saying goes that the customer is always right, there can often be a lot of space between knowing that the customer is “right” and accepting that they have a point. It can often be extremely frustrating dealing with certain customers, especially those who show limited understanding of your situation. Sometimes, due to the limitations of your job, a customer will present you with a request that you simply cannot deliver on. They may well become insistent on the subject, and in some situations customers have been known to become abusive. Dealing with this as a customer service provider can be difficult, but it is one of those challenges that makes you or breaks you in the role.

Sometimes customers are of the belief that a customer service provider is all-powerful. The belief seems to come from the fact that, as an employee of the company, you will have some access to the inner workings of the company. Frequently the extent of a complaint will be that “this doesn’t work and I want a new one/this one to be fixed/my money back”. Their displeasure will be clear, and may even shade into anger. Trying to defuse a situation like that is always a challenge, and requires a great deal of patience. It is not impossible, however – and emerging triumphant from such a situation can be a very big milestone.

The important thing to keep in mind when dealing with a customer complaint is that losing your patience with the customer will never lead to a satisfactory conclusion – for you and most likely for them. Although it may seem galling, and rather challenging, you will need to keep a firm hold of your temper and address their complaint to the best of your knowledge and ability. Tell them that you can see their problem and you will do everything you can to make sure it is corrected. Explain to them what you are going to do, and gain their assent for everything before you do it. If there is no way you can help them, do not chase a lost cause. Explain that you cannot help them, explain why, and offer apologies and a word of advice about where they can get help. This can lead to a positive resolution – but if it does not, at least you will have done what you can.

Adrienne is available with a custom Customer Service package that will fit your employee and client needs.  Adrienne is available at 407-744-5355 or by email at adrienne@professionalglobaletiquette.com

Adrienne offers a 20 minute pep rally for employees or a 2 hour workshop with role playing and discussion of best customer service practices.  

 

Tags:  business development  business etiquette  customer service 

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Don't let your client walk away Angry!

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Addressing Complaints - Dont Let your Customer Walk Away Angry!

Customer complaints should be taken seriously and handled sensitively.  You can turn a negative situation into a positive by treating complaints as opportunities to show customers how much you care about providing exceptional service.

Customer’s Bill of Rights:

  • To be taken seriously

  • To be listened to

  • To be respected

  • To receive a quick response

No business, no matter how big or small, likes to have customers complain about the service they have received or the product they have bought. It is upsetting to be the subject of a complaint, and no matter how impersonal it is, it still feels almost like a personal slight. The important thing in business is to respond to such a situation with the necessary level of grace.  Your goal is that the customer goes away raving about what a fabulous degree of customer service they have received in adversity, and promising to return when they next need a similar service.

Mistakes happen in life and business, and so much of what we are about is shown by how we deal with the consequences of these errors. The situation which a customer is complaining about may not even have been your mistake, to begin with, but regardless of who made a mistake, taking ownership of it and dealing with a complaint in a gracious, helpful manner can turn an awkward situation into one which showcases the best of your abilities. There is, in many cases, a tendency to become defensive when someone is complaining – especially if they are doing so in a very forthright manner. Maintaining a professional tone at these times can be difficult, but managing to do it and solve the problem can showcase a positive side of you and the business.

Even if you think the issue about which the customer is complaining is trivial, not a cause for complaint, or not your company’s fault, it is wise to give the client their chance to speak, show that you take them seriously, and offer to do whatever you can. If the problem genuinely turns out to be something you can do nothing about – because of a difficulty with another company’s product or the customers understanding of the way the product should work – there may still be something you can do – by placing a telephone call or getting a technician to check out the problem. By showing a commitment to helping customers, you can win some valuable reputation points.

 

connect with Adrienne for information on workshops on location, luncheons, classes and specialized custom presentations.  adrienne@professionalglobaletiquette.com  www.professionalglobaletiquette.com

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Tags:  Customer Service 

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Customer Service Etiquette - Addressing Customer Needs

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Sunday, April 16, 2017

Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved.  Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.

-Colin Powell

The first step in improving customer service is to determine what customer's value in their interactions with your organization. What do they want? What do they need? The most obvious way to find out what customers want and need is to ask them. Businesses spend lots of time and money surveying customers, and they often come up with valuable feedback. But the people on the front lines of customer service, people who interact with customers on a daily basis, can gain useful insights into what customer's value just by listening to them and observing them.

The next step, once you have identified customer needs, is to commit yourself to meeting them. But you can’t stop there. To provide exceptional service, you need to go the extra mile to show customers how important they are to your organization.

Understanding the Customer’s Situation

Customer needs are usually fairly self-explanatory, at least on a basic level. Judging on the basis of what your business is, there are often only a few things they can possibly be looking for. What is essential, though, is that you allow the customer to communicate their needs to you rather than attempting to tell them what they need. They know what they need, and that’s why they are here. Any attempt by you to project something on to them is simply going to be taken in a bad way, and is as likely to hurt your sales as anything. Where you can help them is in explaining how those needs can best be met.

Customers will come in many different forms, and each of these forms will present certain challenges. There will be some customers who are very clear about what they want and need, and will put up with very little sales patter from a salesperson. There are others who have only the vaguest idea of what they want to buy, and will essentially give you a rundown of their needs and ask you to fill in the blanks. There are some who will have a lot of questions, and others who will simply want you to do what they ask. In the first few sentences a customer says to you, you will be able to identify their needs or situation, and can operate from there.

The more time you spend in a customer facing role, the more you will learn about the kinds of customer, and the different needs that they have. You will become adept at learning what a certain customer wants from you, and will be able to identify the way the situation will go without needing to ask too many questions. The benefit of experience is in how it allows you to make quick decisions and satisfy the customer in an efficient and courteous manner. It is often said that there are no bonuses or statistics for customer service, but it is customer service that will bring the most sales and the most repeat business.

Staying Outside the Box

Many people argue that the quickest way of judging a situation is to pre-judge it. Those who trust their instincts to give them the right steer in a situation may often get it right, and find that there is real benefit in doing so. Certainly, the advantages of having good instincts are clearly evidenced by good results in terms of sales. However, it can also be negative to be too quick off the mark in terms of identifying a customer’s needs. The results of this course of action can be that you appear either presumptuous or incompetent, and you may even insult the customer by being so bold. It is generally worth allowing the customer a chance to let you know what they want. They may well leave some information incomplete, and this is where your sales instincts can be most useful.

There are many ways you can fall into the trap of presuming too much. Many people tend to judge customers by appearance, and assume that because a customer of the same age, gender or any other grouping tends to want a specific item, that this will necessarily hold true of any customer in that sector. It helps to allow the customer to say what they are going to say first, and then fill in any blanks that are left. It may seem like a neat trick to “know” what the customer wants before they say anything, but when you get it wrong it seems less like a trick and more like a really stupid thing to do. Appearing competent is what’s essential.

Apart from any other reason to pause and listen, there is the fact that it is just good manners to do so. Appearing impolite and almost trying to give the impression that you know the customer’s needs better than they themselves do, is something that will lose you sales. What you really want to portray is that you have the wisdom to recognize the customer’s needs, and the good grace to let them make things clear themselves. You will benefit a lot more from showing consideration than you will from any party tricks.

http://www.professionalglobaletiquette.com/2017/04/customer-service-etiquette-addressing-customer-needs/

 

Tags:  adrienne barker  business service  customer service  etiquette  Improve Sales 

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4 Tips for 5 Star Customer Service Review

Posted By Tracelyn Sutton, American Cancer Society, Tuesday, March 28, 2017

If you are in business, then you are in the business of customer service.   Everyone in a company, even if you are a one-man band, is responsible for providing effective service that will contribute to success and profits for the company.   The differences between effective and ineffective service is a matter of sensitivity, sincerity, attitude and human relations skills.  The good news is that these skills can be learned.  It is important to have the following:  positive attitude, cheerful outlook, enjoy people, enjoy putting customers on center state, high energy, fast pace, flexible and enjoy new demands and experiences and can allow customers to be right even when not.   If you tend to be depressed, angry, like to work alone or with items, need to be center of attention, works at a relaxed pace, no care about the client, likes everything predictable and orderly and you want others to know you are right will lead to service failures.   Let’s talk about how we can turn this around with just a character adjustment.

Customer Service has 2 parts, the procedural and personal.  It is important to have established systems and protocol to deliver the products and service.  On the personal side, it is how your people interact with the customers.   Let’s talk about the person side of customer service.  

First, understand that attitude is a state of mind influenced by feelings, thoughts and actions.  The saying, the attitude you send out is usually the attitude you get back is true.   First step is send a positive attitude to others.  Remember that every time you work with the client, you are on the big stage, and you need to act accordingly just as if you were an actor.   You need to check any poor attitude at the door and work on being positive.  First step is to make sure your appearance matches your positive personality.  You never get a second chance to make a first positive first impression.  Keep in mind your hairstyle, personal cleanliness habits, clothing and jewelry, neatness and general grooming. 

Next is your body language and my advice is to hold your head high and steady, make sure your arms move in a natural and unaffected manner.  Are your facial muscles relaxed and under control and do you find it easy to maintain a natural smile?  How is your eye contact?

Another important part of your attitude is the sound of your voice.  Remember the tone of your voice, or how you say something is more important than the words you use.

When you are using the telephone your positive attitude must come through the phone.  The adage to put a smile on your face is one that works and the client can feel your smile through the phone.

Another important part is to stay energized. The realities of customer service are the exertion of emotional labor.  It does take its toll.  Make sure that you are energized and can charge your batteries when needed.  Never take out the fact you are tired on the client. Also, don’t talk about being tired and working too hard when on the job.

Remember that a positive attitude is nothing more than really liking your job and allowing your actions and words to broadcast this enjoyment to your customers, supervisors and fellow employees.   Make sure you have the right mindset and take this part of customer service important.   This is just step one in customer service.   Even these simple tips will help you score 5 star reviews.

 

Thank you to Kaylee from the BBB Tucson office for the artwork design.

 

Tags:  business services  customer service  Improve Sales  small 

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7 ways to get a Jump on Leap Year!

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

7 ways to get a Jump on Leap Year!

We all wish we had more time in the day; however, this year your wish becomes your reality – you get a bonus sales day. Leap year only comes around every four years – so let’s “jump” on it! It doesn’t cost you anything – it’s pure profit. You can use the extra Monday to plan and/or execute any of the 7 suggestions below:

1.    Schedule to meet a former networking/referral partner for coffee or lunch. This is a great opportunity to reconnect, and see how you can assist each other this year.

2.    Make a list of old (or dormant) customers that you’ve been meaning to contact – and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days. This is another great opportunity to reconnect, see what changes have occurred in their businesses, and assist with their success.

3.    Make a list of former target prospects that have told you “no” in the past. If you feel these are still solid targets for you, schedule time to contact them within the next 30 days to see what (and who) has changed. A “no” yesterday can turn into a “yes” today (or tomorrow).

4.    Go through those rubber-banded stacks of business cards you’ve collected, and see which ones may be relevant to contact now – and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

5.    Go through that “possible or future projects” file you keep (or maybe you call it – things to do when I have time). See what’s relevant – and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

6.    Do that prospect researching that you’ve been putting off. Make a list of prospects to contact, and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

7.    Review your list of old contact names from your previous jobs to see which may be relevant again today. Make a list to contact, and commit to this call time on your schedule within the next 30 days.

You may come up with other ideas to add to this list. The important take-away from this blog is to do something with this day that you haven’t had time to do.  Take advantage of this extra day – and let it contribute to your 2016 success. 

Have a great sales week!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Activities  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Prospecting  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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