(Sales) Practice What You (Sales) Preach
The lift back in my wife’s Toyota Highlander makes more noise than a 95-year-old man doing yoga. So, I took it into McGee Toyota for an assessment. Sometime later, the phone rang. It was Dan, the service technician quoting a price of $690 for new pistons. I gave the okay for that work along with an oil change.
Roughly three hours later the phone rang again.
My expectation was the car was ready. Instead, I heard these nervous words from Dan: “I’ve made a huge mistake. The pistons that I thought were $440 for both are $440 each. I’m afraid I have to revise my quote.”
If you have ever misquoted a job and had to make this phone call, you can feel Dan’s horror. Calling a client after they have given you a PO with the news of a price adjustment is about the worst phone call you can make. The customer has every right to be angry and demand you stick to your original quotation. As fate would have it, they are typically now in a tight spot from a delivery standpoint, so they have no choice but to go with you.
I’ve had to make this call myself. In fact, my anxiety rises just typing out these words.
What would you want that customer to say to you? Wouldn’t it be great if they said, “I understand. Everyone makes mistakes and clearly this was not intentional. What can you do for me in this situation?” That would be ideal, wouldn’t it?
As I was listening to Dan apologize, I thought to myself, “I need to practice what I preach. I need to handle this problem in the same manner that I would want from a customer.”
I quickly authorized the additional cost and could hear the relief in Dan’s voice. He thanked me profusely.
My hope and expectation is that this will come back around in a karmic kind of way. I’d like to think there is a situation in the future where this gesture will be recalled by McGee Toyota. Perhaps I will need a favor someday. But, if not, then it will just be a kind gesture and I will feel good because I did Dan a solid.
My point is, we all need to practice what we preach. Sure, there is money to be saved by shopping around for the best price. But, when the sales rep at Subaru came up with a great solution for our 19-year-old stepdaughter’s bad driving skills (instead of buying a 2010, by something newer that has the safety technology such as automatic braking, lean-drifting warning, etc.), you reward the rep with the sale instead of shopping the idea all over town.
What goes around comes around and it’s never a bad idea to do the right thing.
Just like these tips are common sense, growing sales comes down to the fundamentals. That’s Bill’s approach to everything. If you aren’t happy with your sales, look into the books and programs he offers at BillFarquharson.com.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.