One of my first businesses, at the age of 10 or 11, was the fruit business. Back in the ‘50s grocery stores were not as prominent as they are today. Mom purchased eggs from the egg lady, bread from the bread man, milk from the milk man, all who sold door to door. As I watched Mom give them all money for their products I am sure I thought, “Why don’t I sell door to door and I will get the money?”
Well, I had no way of getting eggs, bread or milk to sell, but there were plenty of fruit trees in our neighborhood to pick fruit from. So I climbed the apple, pear and cherry trees in my neighbors’ back yards, put the fruit in a bag and went around to my neighbors’ front door and sold them back their fruit.
I know I thought I was pulling one over on them, selling them back their own fruit, they were so willing to buy it. Years later I realize they were not paying me money for their own fruit. They were buying a service from me. I provided the service of climbing the trees and picking the fruit. It was all about the service.
You sell the same products as your competition. If you want to sell them for more money than the competition all you have to do is provide a much higher level of service.
Do you have good service? If you do, that is not good enough. Do you give your customers great service? If you do, that is not good enough. To sell more products and services to customers today you need to have Legendary Customer Service.
Legendary Customer Service is service that is so outstanding:
- The customer buys from you because of your service not your products.
- And recommends you to everyone without your asking them to do it.
Not only service for the big things like engagement rings, but Legendary Customer Service for everything.
- Not putting the customer on hold when they telephone you.
- Not interrupting your sale on the sales floor to do other things (answer the telephone, talk with another customer, talk with an associate, etc.).
- Staying late or arriving early to accommodate their schedule.
- Returning telephone calls on time (before time).
- Following up with every customer contact (before the sale is closed and after the sale is closed).
- Being 100% Customer-Centered - Everything you say and do is about the customer, not about you or the business.
I like to refer to it as “standing in the rain” for the customer. Are you willing to stand in a cold rain for hours to make sure you are delivering the services:
- You say you will deliver.
- The service the customer wants and demands to receive to do business with you.
- The service that differentiates you from your competition.
- The service that makes you successful.
Here is a great profit making Aggressive Action:
- Have everyone in your business make a list of everything you can do to go from good or great customer service to Legendary Customer Service.
- Compare the lists and pick out the ones everyone needs to do.
- Implement them every day.
- Discuss how you can “stand in the rain” for your customers and prospects.
Another profit making Aggressive Action:
- Have everyone in your store - sales professionals and sales support personnel - make a list of all the features/benefits that you provide for the customer.
- And then as a team or teams come up with ideas to increase the value of those benefits to provide more service to your customers.
It has always been all about the service. From before the day my grandfather arrived in the United States in the 1800s, put a pack of products on his back and peddled (peddle- to carry goods, wares, etc. from place to place for sell at retail), before your grandparents, great grandparents and even before your great great grandparents sold or purchased products and services... to this very moment as you stand on your sales floor, “It has always been all about the service.”