I’ve had quite a few buying experiences recently that have left me feeling frustrated, annoyed and kind of sad. Frustrated that people can be so blasé about business, annoyed that I’ve spent money with people who really don’t seem to appreciate the business I’ve given them, and sad that as a society, we seem to have entered a phase where thoughtless, inconsiderate or sloppy service is becoming more the rule than the exception.
Buying is an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes great, sometimes terrible and sometimes totally forgettable. But it’s always an experience.
So what kind of experience are you creating for your prospects and clients?
If it’s great, you will likely have repeat customers. If it’s terrible, you won’t. These are at either end of the spectrum. If the experience is good, you might get another chance, or they might try someone else. And if the experience is totally forgettable, you’re probably finished.
In just the last few weeks, I had a landscaper tell me he’d get me an estimate on Monday. It arrived on Tuesday. That wasn’t a terrible experience, but it wasn’t great either. He, at least, apologized for the delay and that alone made him stand head and shoulders above many of the other experiences I’ve had recently. I spent a bunch of money with a travel agency. Prior to purchasing, I had trouble getting answers to my questions, because the person “missed” my questions the first time around. Then I had to hound them to get copies of receipts for stuff they were billing to my credit card. I also noticed that the responses I got always came at the very end of a business day, which would inevitably push my next set of questions into the following day. This resulted in higher ticket prices and fewer good seats left on the aircraft. In another situation, I had a very straightforward pre-purchase question with a service provider that I just couldn’t get answered — by anyone in the organization. But I needed what they were offering, so I just placed the order. I figured I’d answer the question for myself after I took delivery. It reminded me of that famous political quote that said “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Not an ideal way to do business.
The experience of selling, and more importantly, the experience of buying for the customer, should be great. If it’s not, people won’t want to come back.
Many people like to complain about Amazon. I don’t love Amazon as a company, but whenever I’ve ordered from them, I’ve always known exactly where my orders have stood. I get an invoice right away. I’m told my estimated delivery dates up front. My orders have always arrived within the window and ultimately, I don’t have to think about it. Which for me, is huge. So while I might not love them, I have to say, they have my confidence. And I find my confidence sadly lacking with many of the other organizations I deal with.
Business coach Dan Sullivan says that much of success boils down to three things: Show up on time, do what you say you’re going to do, and say “please and thank you.” That sounds like some really basic stuff. But today, it is ignored far too often.
As you consider the type of experience you want to create for a prospect or client, think in terms of a Disney park. It’s a totally immersive environment, in which everything a visitor sees, hears, smells and experiences has been conceptualized, orchestrated, choreographed, and executed flawlessly.
Every aspect of the experience is decided in advance. And while it’s probably not possible to create a Disney level experience in every selling situation, it’s a great idea to try to get as close to that as possible.
We need to think through not just the type of experience a prospect of ours will have, but the quality of that experience, the texture of it.
Most salespeople focus on what a prospect will hear from them in their presentations, recommendations, their sales pitch and their closes. But there’s far more to the experience than what they hear.
At least there can be and there should be.
So ask yourself “What are they seeing?”
What are they seeing from you in terms of your peripheral materials? Your emails, texts, brochures, support materials, and samples?
What are they feeling?
What are they feeling physically with your product in their hands? But at a deeper level, what and how are they feeling about their interaction with you? Do their interactions make them feel comfortable, confident, happy and secure?
Very few salespeople think in terms of the feelings they want to generate in their prospects and clients. To the extent they think about it at all, they’re hoping those feelings are simply a side effect or byproduct of what they’re showing or telling their clients. If you want your sales experience to have some depth, it needs context, and it needs to create positive feelings that will make your prospects and clients want to repeat the experience. But to do that, you have to think beyond the typical “show and tell” approach.
Recently my colleague Dave Kilmer was talking to a distributor who had approached us about our training materials three years ago. At the time, she didn’t have three or four hundred dollars to invest in our program. So her plan was to get her sales up, generate the money and buy the program. Flash forward three years later. She was investigating our program again. Her sales volume was exactly the same as it was three years earlier, and she still didn’t have a few hundred dollars to invest in her own training and education.
The next year will come and go regardless of whether or not you take the actions necessary to grow your business. So will the year after that and the year after that. So what I would encourage you to consider, is “how long are you willing to wait to have the type of business you want to have, the type of clients you actually want to interact with, or the level of sales and profits you’ve always dreamed of?”
If you’re sick of waiting, why not join the Top Secrets community today?
If you’re new to the industry and need to get grounded in the essentials of promotional products sales, visit us online at topsecrets.com/gettingstarted. If you need to get clients now with no distractions and no excuses, visit topsecrets.com/tsca. Or, if you’re a smart, focused, independent distributor doing a reasonable volume of sales, join the AIM SmartEQP community today at SmartEQP.com that’s SmartEQP.com.