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Archive for February, 2011

Very often, more now as we get more readers of this blog, people send me articles, quotes, bits of wisdom, but forget to tell me where they got it so I am not able to give the author proper credit.   This is one of those instances. So if you know who wrote this, let ME know and I will add their name and credits to it so they get the recognition they deserve.  Judy~

“I’ve written a great deal about the difference between marketing, which is letting people know what you can do, and making sales, which is about closing the deal. In general, I think most small businesses make more mistakes in marketing than they do in sales because they either don’t market enough, or they try such a wide variety of “strategies” that they and their potential customers end up confused and frustrated.

But, assuming you’ve done a good job of letting people know who you are and what you do, here’s a simple process for the closing sale:

1.  People buy solutions, not products or services. Your prospects want something that makes their lives easier, richer or more satisfying. In general, no one buys laundry detergent; we buy stuff to get our clothes clean.

2.  We buy from people (or companies) we know. Given a choice, I’ll generally do business with someone I know rather than with a stranger. A few goods and services are so price-sensitive that I’ll try an “off brand” at least once, but generally I’ll go with the familiar over the unfamiliar.
(This emphasizes the importance of marketing or “pre-
selling.”)

3.  We buy from people we like. Would you buy a car from someone you don’t like? Would you do business in an office that makes you uncomfortable? Neither will your customers.

4.  We buy from people we trust. This is THE key. In the end, I must believe that the product or service will perform as promised and I must trust that the seller will deliver, every time.

When it comes to selling, here’s the formula: Your customers buy Solutions from people they Know and Like and Trust. They will pay a substantial premium for the peace of mind that comes from doing business with confidence. Make it easy for your customers to feel good about doing business with you.

But what happens if there’s a mistake, an error or something goes wrong with the product or service and you know it was really your fault. You sold a defective product, the listing didn’t work correctly, or something similar.  What do you do?

It is really very easy. You talk with the customer and find out what happened and determine, if you can, what it would take to make the situation better for them . . .take the direct approach and ask them if you can’t find out any other way.  If it is reasonable, do it. If it is not a reasonable request tell them you are not in a position to to that and offer an alternative. Think about if this happened to you – what would it take to make you feel better. Tell them they are a valuable customer and you want to make things better for them. Be extra generous with them – exceed their expectations – go that “extra mile.” Then, and this is important, have the CEO or you if you own the business, follow up with a personal letter with a hand written signature. Apologize for the error, whatever it was and  ask if their situation has been resolved to their satisfaction. 99% of the time, you won’t hear from them again, but they will talk about you to their colleagues and talk in a good way.

Most of the time, this works and you have a pleasantly surprised customer who feels gratitude and loyalty to you.This is the best kind of publicity you can get.

Every  once in awhile, no matter what you do and how good your intentions are, the customer will not be happy. There are people who seem to be genetically programmed to complained and remain dissatisfied no matter what. . .and that is just life. YOU have to live knowing that you did what is right, your intentions were good, and what goes around, comes around. When YOU put goodness and honesty “out there” “into the universe,” it will come back to you. The laws of the universe, like gravity, never fail to operate. It is just a matter of having patience.Trust will come and your customers will learn that about you as time goes by.

I wish you all the best, especially in “learning patience!”

Judy

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