When most people think of a mattress, they see a rectangular piece of cloth, metal and padding – something to sleep on at night.
“There are a lot of different considerations that go into the selection process,” he says. “Each person has to find their right comfort zone before they can get to sleep.”
The same comfort zone applies to a satisfied customer. The entire sale is built on relationships … buyers trust sales people. It takes only minutes to create a satisfied customer or a dissatisfied customer. When you give the customer with enough information, they’re more likely to be an informed buyer, and an informed satisfied customer. If a customer leaves dissatisfied, he’ll tell more people than if he’s satisfied.
“I’m going to be calling you in 60 days to see how well you like your mattress,” McFarlin says. “It’s not that I want to sell you anything, but I want to see that you’re satisfied with what you’ve bought.”
Making a satisfied customer builds an advocate for your business, according to Jill Rowley, with Forbes. “So when a sales person initiates a relationship with a potential buyer, they need to replace the term ‘prospect’ with the term ‘future advocate.’”
Converting customers to advocates increases the size of your sales team through “proxy.” Those customers will give their positive experiences – both products and sales clerk – to others in a trusted voice. They will vouch for you as a trustworthy brand.
Encourage customers to share their experiences both word-of-mouth, on your website, and their social networks.
“Share the unedited voices and personalities of your employees,” Rowley writes. “Asking your partners to get involved in the conversation as well can be mutually beneficial.”
This conversion process requires the customer to become loyal to your brand.
Better Business Bureau hears all concerns all the time about money and marketing. Everyone wants to grow their business, but not many business owners have unlimited resources to use for marketing. Learn this new catch phrase – Get, Keep, Grow – and apply the concepts outlined by Elaine Ralls, of Air Integrated.
- Get is acquisition. The goal is to acquire the best new customers, not any customers, but those that will be high value and show loyalty
- Keep is about loyalty. How often do your existing customers come back, why, and what brings them back?
- Grow is cross-sell up-sell. What do you offer or could offer that core customers are not taking advantage of but need, and how do you tell them about it?
Implementing a strategy in each of the above three areas is a great start. In addition, become the expert, go-to source for your industry. Learn and study the profile of your customers, and create a social presence with meaningful communication.
A recent Gallup study – published article by Ed O’Boyle, John Fleming, and Bryant Ott – asked sales teams to predict how customers would rate them using a customer engagement metric. Their customers were also surveyed. The sales team was shocked by the results. The correlation between the account teams’ ratings and those of their real customers was essentially zero. Account team members were almost entirely wrong about how their customers viewed them.
And, as McFarlin outlined, find your customers needs, meet them and make them a brand believer in a matter of minutes.– This column first appeared in the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider