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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."

 

You Want Yelp. You NEED Yelp!

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Interesting follow up to a recent blog posting regarding Yelp, the online customer-driven rating/feedback Website where people go to praise (rarely) or complain (mostly) about a store or service or garage or...

A few months ago, I had my teeth cleaned. The hygienist who did the work was new to the office and seemed nice enough. My teeth being nearly 50 years old and still intact, I have enough chair time in to know the routine: visual check, spit, tartar extraction, spit, fluoride application, spit, dentist fly by, rinse, spit, spit, spit, wipe, have a nice day, see you in 6 months.

As the cleaning was progressing, I became increasingly aware that she was erratic at best and absentminded at worst. She missed teeth, jumped around, and did a sloppy job. I was due for an X-ray (I found out later), but she decided to skip it since she was behind. I left the office—of a dentist that I’d gone to for 20 years—unhappy for the first time.

The next time I was in the building, I walked into the dentist office and asked to have a word with the office manager. I told Roxie about my experience and she was, naturally, horrified.

Fast forward two weeks.

Returning to my dentist with a daughter, Roxie pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for the heads up. After she spoke to me, she made some phone calls to other longtime customers and it seemed I was not alone in my discontent. The hygienist was subsequently let go.

A few weeks ago when I first wrote about Yelp, my suggestion was that you need to monitor such potentially damaging public Websites. Now, I want to take that advice a step higher and tell you to actively pursue feedback in order to be more than certain that there isn’t unspoken dissatisfaction out there. That kind of upset has the potential to be FAR more damaging than some flake who disses you online.

When is the last time you called a client to check in on your rep? How about the deliver person? CSR? Anyone who comes in contact with the customer must be held accountable for the impression he/she leaves. Being blindsided by a nasty comment is forgivable. But assuming that things are OK just because you haven’t heard anything to the contrary? That’s a misstep of potentially huge proportion.

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch used to start his rallies, “How’m I doin?” That would be a good question for us all to ask.

Check out Bill’s Webinars On Demand at www.GetPrintSales.com or email him at bill@aspirefor.com
 

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Most Recent Comments:
Geoff welch - Posted on February 08, 2011
Bill, We call on a sampling of customers 7-10 days after they pick up an order to thank them and ensure that everything turned out as expected. Generally, the best conversations I have are with the customers I know had some issue along the way. It's never easy to make that call, but it shows them we really want to fix things and not just let resentment fester because we collected the cash and have forgotten about them. We want people to be ecstatic about their experience with us, or at last know that we won't settle for taking the easy way out when we screw up. Great article, btw.
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Archived Comments:
Geoff welch - Posted on February 08, 2011
Bill, We call on a sampling of customers 7-10 days after they pick up an order to thank them and ensure that everything turned out as expected. Generally, the best conversations I have are with the customers I know had some issue along the way. It's never easy to make that call, but it shows them we really want to fix things and not just let resentment fester because we collected the cash and have forgotten about them. We want people to be ecstatic about their experience with us, or at last know that we won't settle for taking the easy way out when we screw up. Great article, btw.