Thursday, April 24, 2008

Using Words Judiciously

As professional salespeople, one of our quintessential traits is the ability to communicate. In case you don’t know the meaning of “quintessential” and feel that I didn’t communicate my own message very well, it means the true essence or very core of something.

In simpler terms, it means that we must be able to have a meaningful conversation with our customers and connect with them – whether it’s learning about or understanding their needs, appreciating their concerns and issues, helping them resolve issues standing in the way of a decision, and helping them to feel comfortable about making the decision that is in their best interests.

To this end, customer service – as well as sales – plays a major role in delivering the message to our customers that they are important and that we care about them.

Many times I have called various companies for help with a billing questions or a software issue and after many frustrating and nonproductive minutes, I have been asked if there was “anything else they could help me with?”

Since they had not helped me resolve the primary issue that I had – because they refused to understand the issue and take ownership of it, because “company policy” didn’t allow them to resolve it, because they didn’t feel like helping me, because they lacked the know-how or expertise to help me, or some other equally insipid response – their offer was on its face disingenuous.

Therefore, when we as salespeople offer to help someone, let’s really mean to do so. When we don’t have an immediate answer or solution for their question, let’s promise to find one – and set a deadline for talking with them again about it.

Oh, one last thing on being sincere. Don’t wish people to “Have a nice day” when it clearly is not appropriate. So many customer service personnel use this as a rote conclusion after aggravating you or providing no help to the issue being discussed.


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