End of the Month and I just closed a $5k job that 24hrs hours earlier was being pulled from our shop.
Customer service is the single most important aspect of our business. That first interaction with the company, and the customer focus to follow is the make-it or break-it moment.
Due to some usual circumstances related to our business mix of the day we failed to meet the customers expectations, and he let us know. Within a two-hour window we had gone from Hero to Zero and had lost the sale.
I run a service department, no one is more deeply embedded in the sales routine than my staff, nor do I believe anyone can imagine the interaction needed with so many customers all at the same time that it takes to get everything done. Yet, today I realize my staff has no “Sales Skills”…… We are in trouble….
One of my Mentors for the better of 15-years is the King of Sales Jeffrey Gitomer. I have read his material, studied his video’s and based my professional career on his teachings. Jeffrey knows how we should conduct business and better yet how we can apply his teachings to every aspect of our business. I believe I am an excellent salesman, have won the regional Ring of Excellence sales award for a major DDC Distributor and yet I don’t think I have really ever Sold anyone anything. I have always provided Value and both before and after the sale customer support which has led to my customer base buying from me.
So, back to the lost sale….
My advisor had lost the confidence of the customer, had built a wall between himself and the customer and the interaction was going to affect other customers in the building. As I met with the customer, his first words were “the advisor is not hearing what I am asking for”, my advisor was only listening to answer, not understand! and worse we were losing a sale as well as the customer.
- I listened to the customer to understand his situation, his needs as well as his constraints
- I took a step back to evaluate our shop situation
- I took ownership of his problem and offered a solution based on the Value we could still offer
- I delivered on every promise I made him
- I introduced him to our foreman as well as the technician who would take care of his repairs
- I extended my cell phone number to him, email and copied him on multiple updates with his 3rd Party insurance company that was of no help as his coverage was denied
- We pulled him into the shop to “see” his failure, instantly he understood the expense, the skills and parts needed to get his business back on the road. He bought based on the confidence he had in our ability to make the repair, provide value and keep him on the road.
- We went from a sale of $250 for triage and an upset customer to a $5000.00 sale at a profit and finished the truck a day early (Although after hours as we had already “Closed” for business.
- After the sale I apologized for not meeting his expectation, his reply was “you guys are great, you have a great staff.” WOW! how nice was that………………..
Although I will continue to work on our structure, the flow of the shop my staff is going to see a steady stream of Sales Training, just imagine if every job could go from $250 to $5000
Jeffrey Gitomer has a trademark saying:
“People don’t like to be sold-but they love to buy”
Think I will give the customer a call today, make sure everything is ok and work on a lasting relationship…