The “I” In ServIce
This week we are pleased to have a guest blogger, Brandon Strull from BMS Services. BMS sells packaging supplies and is a valued partner and has always delivered exceptional customer service. I am pleased that Brandon accepted my invitation to write a blog entry. Enjoy!
“Take Care of Your Customers, And the Money will Take Care of Itself.”
Welcome to the world of sales. One of the many professions that, if you can do it, and I mean really do it, you can turn yourself into a wealth of knowledge, friends, and…wealth. If you can’t do it, you might find yourself taking a 40 year walk of misery through the 6th stage of hell.
The miseries include, but are not limited to:
- Hearing “No” so many times that a simple “Yes” can lead to a 15 minute dance of jubilation;
- Burning through your complete order of 500 business cards in what feels like a week;
- Pondering not just your job but your life;
- Most importantly, hating going to work
The positives? Well, there are just too many to list.
Regardless of what you’re trying to sell: a car, large format printing, a craft you put on ETSY, or the most exciting of all…packaging supplies, the far most important tool you can possibly use is your service. You must sell…you. In 2016, anyone can buy anything from anywhere. So what can set YOU apart? What makes a box, corrugated material scored and glued to fit a dimension that is taped at one end and filled at another, better than anyone else’s box? Really, the answer is simply, nothing.
The best part about my box is not the box at all. It’s what comes with the box. My boxes come standard with speedy and free delivery. Boxes when you want them, not when I tell you that you can have them. It comes with personalized conversation. No two buyers are the same people, so why should I treat them as such? It comes with an open phone line. My customers know that they can call me at 8:00 pm on a Saturday and they won’t get a general recording someone put together listing the hours of operation. They will get me. Unless I’m in a movie. That’s just rude.
Please don’t be confused. This is not a sales ad that I took out on the Superior Graphics blog. This is how you survive and service in the 21st century for a small or growing business.
I wanted to spend some time breaking down some of the myths of sales and service. Let’s be honest. Sales is an industry that runs on clichés. But some of those clichés are outdated. I can literally take an order on 5 different social media platforms…Zig Zigler mayyyyyy have had a phone, connected by a wire (a slender, string-like piece or filament of relatively rigid or flexible metal, usually circular in section, manufactured in a great variety of diameters and metals depending on its application) in his car. And he probably saved files on his computer using a floppy disk (a thin plastic disk coated with magnetic material, on which computer data and programs can be stored for later retrieval).
This is new age selling.
MYTHS: True or False?
The customer is always right.
False. I mean true. Nahhh, false. Service is not always getting your customer exactly what they want. Another way to set yourself apart from the competition is to develop smarter, cheaper, more efficient ways of helping the company. The easiest way to do this for me is really just to imagine that I am indeed employed by the company. The term “partner” has a much more positive connotation than the word “salesman”.
Cold calling by walking (not making a phone call) into a potential account is useless.
False. By physically walking into a potential account and presenting yourself, it is easier to sell…yourself. Sometimes sales and service is as easy as showing up. By doing this, it looks like you are trying to earn the business and more importantly, earn their trust. An account who trusts you, will buy from you.
“Company policy wont allow me to do that.”
False. If your company policy wont allow you to make your customer happy, change it. Sales can be a game of risk and reward. If you stick your neck out for your customer, it can do wonders in building trust between the two businesses. Red tape can often equal red sales numbers.
You’re Always Selling
True. At the grocery store? Sell. At the park? Sell. Killing 3 hours surfing youtube and facebook on your laptop? Sell. You never know when an opportunity will arise to increase business and meet a potential new business partner. Always be prepared and pay attention to your surroundings. That means social media too. Don’t be scared to let a customer into your personal life. It builds trust and just provides another outlet to receive an order or communicate. To this day, I have received orders via text, facebook, twitter, fax, phone, and email. If it is easier for my account, than its easier for me.
“Take Care of Your Customers and the Money will Take Care of Itself”
True, true, true, true, true. The golden rule! Never let your customer see the money in your eye. It will ruin the trust and relationship that you have worked so hard to build. Rather, do your job, provide good service, be attentive, and the financial aspect of the business will prosper. Trust me, this does wonders for expanding within a business as well as gaining referrals. And everyone loves referrals.
Hopefully this helps you grow your business and develop positive relationships with your customers! But more importantly, hopefully my years of hearing “no” and spending my time with a bad friend named Misery, will be my lesson learned, and not yours!
Finally, sales and service in a nutshell.
And most importantly,