So many sales people have told me that locating qualified leads is the hardest part of sales. Price negotiation is often very hard too and closing can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned professional sales executive.. but do you know what I think the hardest part of sales is?: delivery and execution. Ironically, getting better at delivery and execution can make locating qualified leads way easier! Read on.
Delivery and Execution
It’s not that customers don’t want our products. It’s not that they don’t see the value. We have a 95% customer retention rate. They will continue to buy from us… but will they sing our praises? Will they recommend us to others? After the dust settles, will they be our evangelists or will they experience “buyer’s remorse?”
Consider that out of my existing customers, around 10 or 15 percent agree that they got what was promised, on time, that delivery and execution went smoothly and met their expectations. So 100 percent said yes and signed a contract, while only 10-15 percent expressed total satisfaction with their purchase and purchase experience. It’s quite a contrast and actually ends up making much more work for us in the end. Simply getting confirmation that someone wants to purchase something is easy compared with delivering what was promised in such a way that the customer is completely satisfied.
Happy customers are the best marketing you can have, hands down.
The hardest part of sales is remembering that the close of a sale is not the end of the process. Closing deals is nice, but how much better to have your customers providing glowing reviews to their networks? Here are four ideas to increase customer satisfaction and get your customers to help you grow your sales pipeline:
1. Sold? Congratulations! But don’t just move on to the next customer.
Consider a signed contract the beginning of a very important engagement. This is crunch time: time to do such a good job that your customer tells their colleagues, who in turn tell their colleagues. A referral or recommendation will make prospecting much easier and less time consuming. It reduces your workload to put in the extra effort after the close.
2. Under promise and over deliver.
Everyone loves a pleasant surprise. If lead time is two weeks, tell them three and provide it early. Be conservative with what you promise and be generous with what you provide.
3. Be the detail guy.
Ask about everything you can imagine that might impact the successful execution of your product or service. Make a regular habit of dropping by or calling to make sure the value is being realized. Think of things your customers haven’t even thought of and just take care of it. This is a huge differentiator.
4. Plant value and reap referrals.
There’s a lot of unhappy customers out there. They have been done wrong over and over. This is a huge opportunity to provide value. Finesse the hardest part of sales. Deliver and execute well and your customers will help you get more business. It’s the best investment you will ever make.