Customer retention is more critical than ever, particularly in this competitive market with brand and vendor loyalty at an all time low. Yet some salespeople continue to turn off customers with statements that are supposed to inspire trust but end up destroying it.
- “We’re the best.” (Who says so?)
- “Our experts can give you the best advice.” (Who says they’re experts?)
- “We’ve been in business for 75 years.” (What’s the benefit to the customer?)
- “We’ve been at this same location for 20 years.” (So what?)
All those phrases bolster the salesperson or the company but don’t attract or hold customers.
A survey by Learning International showed that customers have six expectations of salespeople:
- A supplier organization that can be trusted.
- A salesperson who is honest
- A salesperson who keeps promises
- A product or service that is delivered on time
- A product or service that is consistent in quality, and
- A product or service that performs as anticipated.
All six of these expectations depend on the salesperson’s actual performance or the expectations that he or she creates about products or services. Salespeople who meet these expectations regularly have the highest rate of customer retention.
What can you give the customer?
The best thing you can give your customers is knowledge and expertise. What information do you possess that can be of benefit to your customers? See yourself as the customer’s consultant, offering ideas and solutions.
John R. Graham is the president of Graham Associates, a sales and marketing firm based in Quincy, MA. He can be reached at 617-328-0069.