Written by Sean McPheat |
Customers often judge us by the quality of the back-up service we offer. If everything goes well before we actually start working with them, they may see fit to buy our products and services.
The proof of the pudding will be after the deal is done. If the back-up isn’t there, we may as well say goodbye immediately to this customer being loyal to us.
Naturally, good quality service is the requisite for customer satisfaction. It got me thinking, though, about all the poor service we’ve experienced, and I have devised an acronym on the word ‘service’ to remind us of what we shouldn’t be doing. All these will destroy customer relationships:
Sloth: The dictionary definition is “habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness”. A good work ethic is essential to excellence in sales. If you don’t want to work, feel that it’s just too much effort, or that good enough is good enough, then maybe sales isn’t the right career for you. Being lazy on things like quality of communications will simply tell your customer that you don’t care and you don’t deserve their attention.
Excuses: Passing the blame onto things that you feel are the cause of problems and lack of opportunities is the epitome of a poor sales attitude. A blamer will never think that anything is their fault and that the whole world is conspiring against him or her. They will blame the economy, customers’ lack of decision-making, the quality or price of the products they are selling – in fact, anything that means the blame doesn’t fall squarely on their shoulders.
Lack of Responsibility: Following on from ‘Excuses’ comes the age-old failure to accept responsibility for things that go wrong. It may not exactly be your fault that the traffic caused you to be late for the appointment, or that the competition have a better/cheaper/more cost-effective offering than you, but you still have the ability to respond (response-ability) to anything in a way that drives towards solutions rather than concentrating on the problem.
Vicious Circle:Sales people who wallow in their own pit of despair caused by the above are also quick to find themselves in the vicious circle that perpetuates their poor and negative attitude. One bad result leads to another, poor attitudes build further obstacles, one negative customer turns into the whole world being against you, and before you know it, the circle comes around again and the negativity continues.
Incredulity:The inability to grasp the real situation for what it is and deal with it so you can see the causes of the problems and deal with them. We often see salespeople who lack responsibility and make excuses fall into the vicious circle of not believing it’s their fault for anything that goes wrong. Being incredulous blinds you to possibilities and doesn’t allow you to see past the current obstacles.
Cocky Attitude:Seen in many networking events where the salesperson feels they must justify their claims of being number one in the industry. We’ve all met them and have a negative feeling towards them. Customers then say, Yes, your product may be better than the competition, but show us the results it will get us, rather than just overloading us with details of how good it is. Being cocky will just make people think you’re a fool and won’t believe your sometimes-outlandish claims.
Egotistical:No-one likes a big-head, simply because great salespeople don’t need to tell anyone how good they are; they simply deliver results that speak for themselves. When a person’s ego gets above their station, we tend to think badly of them because it often hides a feeling of insecurity that needs to be covered up. A great salesperson will not try to prove he or she is great by being the loudest or most brash, so that people will hear them. The ego needs to be kept in check or others will see you for what you are…someone to be avoided!
So, that’s my take on the antithesis of a great ‘service’ provider. I’d love to hear if you have some other words that would fit the acronym.
Originally published: 7 October, 2014