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Bill Farquharson

The Sales Challenge

By Bill Farquharson

About Bill

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."

 

Customer Service in the 'Mom' World

 

I had a normal customer experience the other day which seemed extraordinary simply because I was comparing it against Comcast, the 2014 median.

Here, let me try that sleep-deprived sentence again...

Since when does doing the right thing pass as remarkable? Since the average customer service experience became a journey into the abyss. See aforementioned “Comcast” remark.

Year-to-date, I have been on five trips involving air travel. Not one has gone without delay or cancellation. The worst was a return trip from Dallas on the 15th. In sequence:

  • DFW shut down due to storms. My 6:34 pm flight becomes a 9:30 pm flight
  • The queazy feeling in my stomach turns out to be more than the baked beans I ate the night before. I am in the slow realization that something bad is about to happen to my lunch (which does, five minutes into the eventual flight)
  • Due to the delay, the pilots have “timed out” and we need to fly to Newark, pick up a new crew, and continue on to Boston
  • We land at 1:35 am in Newark. New crew cannot get through security because there is no security at that hour. We are delayed another hour
  • We land in Boston at 3:16 am. I put my head on the pillow at 4:09 am

When I wake up at 9, there is an email from JetBlue apologizing for the inconvenience, begging forgiveness, and asking me to help them understand what more they could have done to improve communication during the experience. A second e-mail tells me that $75 has been put in my JetBlue travel bank.

What did your mom tell you to do when you’ve upset someone? You apologize. Immediately. You make it right. Immediately.

JetBlue did nothing extraordinary in the “Mom” world. That’s what you do. But because common courtesy is no longer common and we live more in Wayne’s World than Mom’s, doing the right thing is the exception, not the rule.

The clients I have who are doing well are doing nothing extraordinary. They are succeeding by following their mother’s advice. Apparently, everything they needed to know about doing business, they learned in Kindergarten. Whatever.

Stick to the Golden Rule. Think, “What would my mother tell me to do?” when considering next steps.

Oh, and wipe your feet. She just mopped the floor, for crying out loud!

Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or bfarquharson@napl.org.

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