Best Practice #31 – Makes it a practice to expand the customer relationship by bringing customers to our facility

By Dave Kahle

Every now and then I encounter a salesperson who believes that it is to his advantage to have all the calls and requests from the customer go to him personally. Picture a salesperson with his arms wide open, trying to encircle and control every relationship with the customer, every communication, and every transaction.

100102167 Figure With Network Concept by sheelamohan

Salespeople with this mentality believe that they bring value to the customer by being the only contact with his company.

Unfortunately, this is one of those ideas that ultimately produces a mediocre salesperson. It reduces the salesperson to being a telephone receptionist, customer service representative, researcher of esoteric products, technical service writer, and expediter of back orders – all of which can be done, in all likelihood, better and cheaper by someone else in the company. It causes the salesperson to fill his day with busy-work – returning phone calls which could have been just as easily accomplished by someone else – and robs him of his selling time.

Salespeople who have created this habit often defend it on the basis of “good customer service.” The implication being, of course, that no one in the company is as competent to handle the customer’s requests as the salesperson.

Unfortunately the impact on the customer is just the opposite. Customers generally want to deal with a capable and competent company. One in which there is a solid infrastructure to support the products and services they sell, and which is staffed by quality people who are committed to their jobs and competent at them. The salesperson who tries to channel all communication through himself conveys to the customer that the company is so lacking in structure and personnel that they must rely on the salesperson to do everything. That doesn’t give the customer a warm and fuzzy feeling.

The best salespeople understand this, which is why they make it a practice to expand the customer relationship by bringing customers into their facility. There, the customer can see with his own eyes what sort of organization the salesperson represents. He can see the inventory, view the production areas, examine the basic processes, meet the key customer service people, and chat with the management.

And all of that reduces the risk of his decisions to buy from you and makes him more comfortable with you and your company. That makes him more likely, not less likely, to buy from you.

It also results in him having personal relationships with key inside people, who then become the go-to people for most customer requests. That takes the burden off you — the salesperson — allowing you to spend your time selling, which is, of course, the idea.

That’s why it is one of the best practices of the best salespeople.

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Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written ten books, presented in 47 states and nine countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. His most recent book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been named one of the “five best business books,” by three international entities.

The Sales Resource Center® contains 455 audio and video training programs for sales people, sales managers, and Chief Sales Officers.

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