Great article! Those of us in the service industry would do well to heed the advice here. I have a question for the group; what if you sell a one time product? I am in the sightseeing business and typically once customers are done with our tour, they leave for home and don't come back. does this whole lead conversion process happen on our web page?
Submitted Jun 27, 2012 7:01 AM
Actually you are not just one and done. There are always referrals. Giving great customer service is the sale within the sale. They may go home but they have friends who may be coming to your town one day. A little work of mouth advertising never hurts.
Submitted Jun 27, 2012 10:53 AM
Uh, this is not a sales process. A process would be a set of steps a person takes to move from lead gen/finding a buyer to close/fulfillment and managing the relationship.
This is simply a description of a moment in time.
It's good advice, it's interesting, but I was fooled by the title into reading an article that didn't make good on its promise.
A process would include things like handling resistance, asking great questions and more. It would not, as suggested here, insure that each prospect experience is the same. That's impossible. A process would allow the flexibility to adjust to each buyer and respectfully treat him or her like an individual.
I'm sorry, I'm a huge fan of Michael Gerber and the E-Myth brand, but this article, at least, is not a resource on the selling process.
Submitted Jun 27, 2012 11:15 AM
Respectfully Dan i believe you are missing the point. This article is exactly what we are trying to do in our business which is sell without selling at all. If the sales process is only you collecting what the customers needs and wants are, and you actually care about the experience, then your job is simply to help them to make a decision and get the best deal you can offer them. The sales person is then on their side rather then pressuring them into a decision based on what you need to sell them. These methods create forever customers instead of one and done customers. Not to mention your sales people will love their jobs and never leave because they are sleeping soundly at night knowing they are looking out for their customers. In this manor of thought this is the entire sales process with one very important detail left out which was paperwork.
Submitted Jun 27, 2012 11:57 AM
Regarding prior discussion, I can understand why Dan may have felt disappointed by the title of the article vs. on content. Those who are procedural minded tend to think in terms of specific how to's/tasks in a sequential fashion.
The article does not quite map out steps in that fashion. I consider the steps in article more conceptual/philosophical steps that still need to be translated into sequential task oriented steps (more like a repeatable system of actions).
I do think you can integrate the basic concepts of this article to a typical sales process as Dan was referring to. eg. to understand prospect's needs, what steps do you do to accomplish that? ask them to fill out a questionnaire? ask certain questions in an initial conversation? ask them to fill out a feedback form after delivery of service/product as to how well needs were fulfilled? all of the above?
Alluding to a personal experience about really creating a strong customer experience (that is truly process oriented), I just hired an internet marketing & web development company that walks their talk about delivering on a great customer experience (which is also what they aim to do with client's websites).
they have not even started on the actual design of the site yet. But I am so impressed with their highly systematic approach to giving a great customer experience that I am already a raving fan. I feel taken care of and that I can truly rely on them to deliver on their promise. Every step of the way, someone gets back to me immediately with answers to questions. The process starts with my filling out an extensive web assessment form.
Also I am assigned a project manager as my point of contact. They use basecamp.com for their entire management of the project with their entire team of creative people, web copy people and web developers. the next step is a conference call with their entire team that will be working on my site to go through assessment form and starting creating vision for my site. In basecamp, there is a list of about 25 steps they go through internally to complete the project and everyone gets to see status, what's completed, files, etc.
Now that is a step by step set of tasks of how to deliver a great customer experience. For each one of us our steps may be different to deliver a great customer experience because the nature of our business and target markets are different. but philosophically and conceptually they are the same.
Submitted Jun 27, 2012 7:26 PM
Awesome article! I just experienced this directly by turning my business back into a full time business almost overnight by being warm, professional and connecting with my clients and also asking all the people who didn't rehire me why they didn't. This was uncomfortable and well worth the efforts!
Submitted Jun 30, 2012 12:53 PM