Great Expectations – What Customers Want From Sales Calls
I was recently called (twice) by a company who I had previously purchased from. The first instance I spoke with a lovely lady who asked me if I had heard of their business before. I told them not only had I heard of them but I was a customer and she quickly progressed the call to ask if I had any current requirements. I wanted some information from her about previous prices and products but she was unable to give me them, having no record of my custom. She agreed to dig out the info and email me. A month later I received a similar call from a man from the same company. The conversation went exactly the same way.
The result is that I am now in the process of selling to them. Those poor, poor sales people have been sent out to the front line without their weapons. It is clear that they need some customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Here’s the deal, customers will have an expectation of what’s going to happen when they are sold to. Here are some things people expect AS STANDARD:
– Don’t assume I’m waiting for your call. I have other things to do and your call is an interruption to me. Remember to acknowledge that at the very least
– Make an effort not to waste too much of my time. You’ve hit the jackpot because I have answered the phone. Don’t spoil it by ending the call with me thinking “there’s 15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back again“. (Remember I will only feel you have wasted my time if I think your offering is not relevant to me so…)
– Make it relevant to me. Don’t start with a question or statement about you such as, “Have you heard of us before?” Why does that matter? You are calling to help me. Tell me who you are then make it about me as quickly as possible. Refer to your CRM to get the correct context first so you can position your first question well
– Know me. Especially if you actually do know me. If I have bought from you before be prepared to answer some customer service questions like “How much did I pay for that again?” and “When did I buy that?”. You won’t be able to answer those questions unless you practice some kind of customer relationship management
– Once you have asked me relevant questions to build up my profile, add my comments into your CRM system for future use. I expect you to call again, but I don’t want to have the exact same conversation all over again.
– Don’t overload me with information about your product or service. Half your bells and whistles won’t be important to me. Your job is to quickly assess which half I don’t need and DROP THEM!
– Know that even if I like what you are saying, the nature of sales means that I am still going to feel that you are tricking me somehow. You need to let me know you are trust worthy. Acknowledge my concerns and empathise with them. Also, things like calling me when you have prearranged to go a long way towards fostering that relationship of trust. Use your system to record future call dates and times and follow up in a timely manner. To manage expectations you have to first start to manage your promises
It’s hard enough getting my business in the first place. A lot can go wrong during our relationship. At the very least make sure you are starting on the right foot by meeting my expectations from the first sales call.
To talk to someone about getting good CRM sales software to support your sales department please get in touch
Written by Emma Stewart – Sales & Marketing Director at Cofficient