Thursday, February 1, 2007

Service, the Other 100%

In the last post our discussion was focused on the new version of the Critical Path, reinvented as the Critical Wheel, where the elements of Welcome (40%), Discovery (30%), Presentation (20%), and Closing (10%) are turned upside down from years past where Closing was suggested to comprise 40% of your efforts. Although the stops on the Critical Wheel comprise 100%, that only leads to the sale. To create a sustainable business model, to keep the sale on track, the element of Service is the "other" 100%. Zig Ziglar has popularized the notion that if you spend your time helping people get what they want, you will eventually get what you want. The key to success in sales is taking the extra step, the step beyond the sale, in assuring truly outstanding service. Following-up and following-through also represent a badge of professionalism since so few of your competitors practice it. Service connects the Closing to the following Welcome. And to create the referral customer doesn't cost anything when you are dedicated to offering outstanding service to each and every customer and client. Why is Service such a powerful mechanism in creating referrals. Perhaps it's because of the pre-conditioning our customers and clients have, in spite of all we tell them about our dedication to their needs fulfillment, towards the belief that whatever we do is for the "money." When we are already paid (at closing) and still maintain the highest standards of customer service, they are compelled to admit that it wasn't about the money after all. Once they are confirmed by seeing that our commitment to them outlasts the closing, they can become the most powerful mechanism we have for generating qualified traffic.
How can you maximize the customer's perception of our dedication to service? No one is expecting the salesperson to show up in the middle of the night with a wrench to fix a leaky toilet. Rather, the salesperson should follow the model of the orchestra conductor. Though rarely playing a note, it is the conductor that keeps everyone in time and assures that all are playing in tune. The sale is made when the customer gets truly involved. The sale is kept and duplicated when the salesperson gets truly involved. Try it; it doesn't require but a marginal difference in effort but delivers exponential differences in results. Those who serve lead.

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