Last week, I wrote about the B.A.N.G. Business Expo held in Clear Lake, and now I want to revisit the expo from another perspective. Selling! I am a salesman by trade, and have trained and worked with sales people for many years.
I use the KISS Method (Keep It Simple Sir) when training new sales people: from the beginning, they need to understand two things.
- Who are my target prospects?
- How can I solve their problems.
If you make it more complicated they lose focus, and will struggle trying to remember all the “stuff” you’ve taught them. As they grow in understanding, more information can added to round out their skills.
Back to the Expo
At expos, I love to visit with the vendors and get to know them better. I ask a couple of questions, similar to those above, to begin with. Then I always ask the same final question.
“Why should I do business with you, rather than a competitor?”
How do you answer that question? Have you thought about it? It is one of the basic questions you must be able to answer, and it will set you apart from 95% of the sales people.
Here are some of the responses I received to that question.
- “We have the best service.”
- “We’re the best company to do business with.”
- “Our company has $10 million dollars in assets.”
- “We have the best people.”
- “Ahhh … because?”
- “(blank stare)”
Do you notice any problems with these responses? The biggest … it doesn’t address the question.
Let me respond to each of the above, in order.
- Says who?
- According to whom?
- I would hope so (rather than the worst people)
If you claim to have the best service, delivery time, customer satisfaction, etc., support the claim.
Let’s Improve the Answers
Let’s change the answers a little and see what happens.
“According to the independent testing firm, Wilson Group, our company was ranked #2 in customer service for 2006, with a 99.4% approval rating. This year’s goal is to improve enough to become #1.”
“Last year seven of our competitors filed for bankruptcy and left their clients without coverage. Our company has shown a profit for the last 16 quarters and we maintain $10 million dollars in emergency reserves.”
“Because of our manager screening process, we place decisions in the hands of our local managers. If you have a problem, they are authorized to make it right … guaranteed in writing!”
Do you see the power that comes with documentation? Now there’s a reason to do business with these companies!
Someone is sure to ask, “But Wilson Group didn’t give us this rating?” Then don’t claim to have the best customer service, unless you can back it up with facts gathered elsewhere. Survey your customers (all of them) and get a satisfaction percentage. Break it down by the month and develop an ascending trend. Over the span of a few months, you will have facts to build such a claim.
“We just completed a customer satisfaction survey with the following results. We received a 98% overall rating and a 100% customer issue resolution rating.”
WOW! What a difference a little fact finding can make.
So … “Why should I do business with you?”