All to often, companies win on advertising and marketing, but don’t deliver on expectations set during the sales process.
I was recently filming the after shots of a custom new construction project that my team completed. The end result was very telling of our team’s talent. In large part, because of the expertise that was required to apply the coatings throughout the property. It was obvious that the project required very talented craftsmen. It was a moment that I was both proud and inspired. However, it reminded me that talented craftsmen delivering on initial promises ultimately determine whether or not we are successful long term.
Reputation supersedes performance.
No matter the marketing message or brand appeal, performance will define your reputation. From the product or service delivered to the customer experience, customers are given an impression that is compared to the initial expectations created during the sales process. The balance between creating appeal and being realistic creates a tension for a salesmen. If the salesmen oversells to increase the odds of acquiring the account, the delivery of those expectations becomes more difficult to obtain and the company loses in the long run.
The key for a salesmen is to be solution oriented, while educating the customer on needs and how those needs relate to solutions. The salesmen should focus on telling a story for how the solutions will be delivered, which result in the client’s needs being solved. If so, the customer can make a fact based decision versus an emotional one spurred on by superlative and exaggeration based selling. Whereas the emotional decision is more likely to lead to buyers remorse. Ultimately, the sales process should be fact based with minimal to no superlatives. If so, the delivery of the service can be focused on checking off the delivery of the solutions that solve the customer needs. If this can be done, it is easier to over deliver by providing great customer service.
Eliminating the gap that exists between the salesman and the craftsman.
All too often companies separate the salesman from the delivery of the service that the salesman sold. By doing so, there is an immediate loss in trust and confidence as the customer is entrusting in what was said by the salesmen and now the salesman is no longer a part of the customer’s experience with the company. Rather, a more relational option for a company is to expand the role of the salesman from salesperson to account manager. The reason being is that an account manager will do more than just sell the account on the front end by also advising the customer throughout the entire process from start to finish.
The account manager role takes what could be a transactional relationship of the traditional sales role and makes it more personable through the account manager role. It also makes the salesman more accountable to what they say and don’t say as they don’t end their relationship after the sale and are responsible for the customer experience throughout the life of the account. Most importantly, it provides the customer with one contact that they can rely on throughout their relationship with the company.
Have you ever been sold something and never seen the salesperson again? Furthermore, what was said by the salesperson wasn’t communicated to the team fulfilling the order?