THE 10 COUNTER COMMANDMENTS
In most companies, Outside Sales is usually the “glamour” job. Frequently, the Outside Sellers know that and some act accordingly – every Sales staff has its diva/prima-donna. This Morsel is not about them.
This is about the unsung heroes of most sales operations, the Inside/Counter Sellers or Service Representatives. These folks are the first point of contact with the Customer. They are charged with the responsibility of quickly and professionally determining the need of the caller or “walk-up,” having the “back” of the Outside Seller and fulfilling that which is promised. On top of all this, more than 90% of sales revenue can cross the counter directly or indirectly.
This is a difficult job, requiring extensive product/technical/market knowledge, strong selling skills and a pleasant personality. Companies wisely view this position as a “development system” for Outside Sales.
I have found that the best companies put their expectations for their Sellers in writing. This provides clear guidance as to what should be done and how it should be done. Here are the “10 Counter Commandments,” which should raise the bar on customer service and drive company revenue and profits:
1. Answer the phone promptly.
Many companies want calls to be answered within three (3) rings.
2. Use the proper telephone greeting.
Use a three (3) part greeting – “Good morning/afternoon. This Is **. How can I help you today?”
Always be nice. We are “welcoming” that person into our store. Make a number of random calls to companies and experience their greeting. What does this initial “touch” say about our company and us as professionals?
Better yet, conduct “secret shopper” phone calls to your company.
3. Capture name and phone number at the top of the call.
We need to know to whom we’re speaking. It’s polite and should be automatic.
For extra credit, feel free to ask them how they’re doing today.
Be sure to say, “in case we get cut-off, what’s the best number to call you back?”
Obtain account number by asking – “In whose name is the account?”
If not a present client, offer to set-up an account set-up at the end of the call.
4. Determine the customer’s need as professionally and quickly as possible.
It’s possible there might be an alternative solution to their problem. Offer the appropriate up-sell or down-sell.
5. Introduce at least one (1) add-on product for each transaction.
We save our customer their most valuable commodity – time. No return trip is necessary.
We take the Buyer “out of the market” by becoming their sole source of product and solutions.
We drive our business by “expanding” the transaction.
6. When quoting on products or services, offer to take the order right now.
It’s okay to ask “What purchase order do you want to use?”
7. If the transaction is not consummated immediately, establish a specific date and time and plan to make a follow-up call.
8. Effective follow-up differentiates us in the market.
When your product/service is delivered or provided, make a telephone call that day to see how the delivery went. This is a good opportunity to handle any problems. And, a better opportunity for an “atta-boy” or “atta-girl.”
9. Make one (1) phone call daily to an account that is presently using our product or service.
Ask them how well we’re performing for them. You will blow then away!
10. Make one (1) dormant account call daily.
Reach out to clients who have good credit, have paid in a timely manner and we haven’t done business with in a while.
This is a good opportunity to survey how well we have done for them in the past. And, how we can continue to serve today and tomorrow.
What do you think?
Good Selling to you!
SLH Sales System Morsels are meant exclusively for non-commercial use by the recipient. No modifications of any kind may be made without the written permission of the SLH Sales System.