If you’ve been reading our blog for a little while you know I feel that Marketing and Sales not only go hand in hand, but must deliver a consistent message to the customer. How many times have you walked into a store or had a sales person come to your office where the “actual” offering is “slightly” different than what was advertized? As a customer you feel mislead and potentially ripped off…why would you want to do the same thing to your prospects and customers?
I’ve been asked more than once in my sales career to present a customer with a solution or a price that was far different than what they had expected from the marketing material they’d come across. It’s one of the main reasons Solidology was formed. I just couldn’t stomach it any longer and wanted to provide my customers what exactly what I said I would. As a customer you expect to be given the deal that the marketing material advertized. As a business owner or sales person you should do everything in your power to provide that to your customers as well.
We’ve all heard the stereotypes about how sales people are slick and never quite tell you the whole truth until it’s time to pull your check book out. More often than not it’s the disparity between what marketing promises and what the sales person can actually offer that causes the lack of comfort many people have when dealing with sales people.
So how do we bridge the gap between what’s promised and what’s available? How do we make the customer or prospect feel the same way we hope to feel when we’re in their shoes? Simple…make sure your website, your brochures, and your sales people are all saying the same thing. If you’ve never actually sold your product or service at $199, don’t advertize that it starts at that price. Always make sure your prospect or customer knows exactly what they’re getting. If you have a warranty on your product or service make sure it is honored for every sale. A company’s reputation can be quickly destroyed by a few customers that get the runaround when trying to get their warranty honored or continued maintenance on their purchase.
I know, I know…you can’t please everyone. That statement is 100% true…you can’t. But what you can do is give the customer what they were promised at the price it was promised to them. You can take care of warranty claims or maintenance plans when the customer needs them. If they are asking for something that was never promised or isn’t included in the package they purchased you have to take the time to sit them down and explain it to them. Sure, some people think the way to get ahead is to always get more than you ask or pay, and often times these are the ones we can’t make happy. And no matter what you do, short of giving them the world for free, is going to make them happy. You have to be savvy enough to realize which customers those are and do your best to not even take them on as clients. That is a difficult rule to follow in tough economic times, but I’ve found that when you do take those customers on, you end up spending the profit your earned from their purchase and then some trying to fight battles you’ll never win…even when you’re right.
My wife and I talk all the time about how the world has gone from “the Customer is Always Right” to “Be Thankful I Let You Do Business With Me.” To me the answer lies in the middle. The customer knows what they want…most of the time, and it’s the person or company on the other end of the transactions job to figure out if they can deliver it. The Seller’s job is not to say anything to get you to buy then hide.
At the end of the day it’s all about honesty and ethics. Market to what you can truly deliver and make sure your sales people are pitching to that truth.Share on Facebook