Category Archives: Customer Service

Notes and thoughts about exceptional (or exceptionally bad!) customer service.

#TBT – LOSE THE PRONOUNS!

This is one of my very favorite topics.  This Throwback Thursday article was originally published in May of 2014. Enjoy!

OMG! I was in a TERRIBLE sales presentation the other day. TERRIBLE.

The presenter was Hooked On Pronouns.

“We, you, they, it, he, she, their” … it went on and on. (Example: So, I said this to him about it, and he said he was interested in their results.) WHAT?

PRONOUNS ARE MEAN

When you use pronouns, you make your audience feel like idiots!

Continue reading #TBT – LOSE THE PRONOUNS!

Lose the pronouns!

OMG! I was in a TERRIBLE sales presentation the other day. TERRIBLE.

The presenter was Hooked On Pronouns.

“We, you, they, it, he, she, their” … it went on and on. (Example: So, I said this to him about it, and he said he was interested in their results.) WHAT?

PRONOUNS ARE MEAN

When you use pronouns, you make your audience feel like idiots!

Continue reading Lose the pronouns!

Ever just called someone to see how it’s going?

If you believe that sales are founded on great relationships.

And, most of us still do. Especially in this world of complex sales.

Ever thought of calling your decison-maker up – just to see how their life is going?

It will test your ability to GET OVER IN THEIR WORLD.

What if your customers viewed you as someone who called them because you were interested in what THEY were dealing with. Not just what you could sell them to help them. You won’t always have the answers.

Can you see how much more FUN you would have calling on people?

You have fun. They have fun.

You will find out things about their children, their marriages, their pressing concerns.

You do it because you “getting the deal” isn’t the most important thing to them. But, their life IS important to them.

Do you know that salespeople don’t do this?

Stand out. Demonstrate that you are truly out for THEM.

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

You can scale your system, but you CAN’T scale relationships!

You can scale your systems, but you can't scale your relationshipsHOW DOES HE DO IT?

The amazing Bob Burg continues to confound me.

He is a best-selling author and a coveted speaker.

Everyone I have ever met who knows him, LOVES him!

Wanna know why?

Well, I wanna know why, too – but here is my theory!

As we grow our businesses, we MUST learn better systems.

We must deliver our products more efficiently.

Sometimes, we do this by hiring others to do the work that we cannot keep up with.

Sometimes, we use technology to streamline activities.

Sometimes, we outsource activities that help us focus on what makes us great.

Sometimes, though, we do a VERY VERY VERY bad thing.

We try to scale our relationships.

This is how it looks when we do that…

* We send out marketing materials that get the person’s name wrong.

I often get REALLY interested in what someone has to offer and I reach out to that person as “The Irreverent Sales Girl” and I get a communication back that says, “Dear The”. Seriously. This actually happens! Guess how quickly I hit “DELETE”?

Can you IMAGINE how I would feel if this were my financial advisor? Or my accountant?

* We service our clients in “chunks”.

We categorize people using a limited set of data about them. Then, we put them into some kind of “System” where we deliver certain messages or opportunities or services to each of these “categories”.

There are PLENTY of great ways to scale the services we deliver.

For example, we write a book that provides AWESOME information to the masses who will read it. I have never met Brian Tracy, for instance, but his books have provided tremendous value to me! I have paid for his information many times over and have been happy I did it.

Or, we develop a keynote where we get in front of thousands of people who can benefit from our expertise – and will pay for it. And love it.

Movie-makers develop storylines that will entertain me – even propose messages that change my perspective and that I hold dear (The Princess Bride, for example!)

My bank automates a system where I get a notification when my checking account dips below a certain level with an option to transfer money from another account. This serves me.

Even my accountant has lower-level employees actually DO my taxes, but he interacts with me personally when I have a question.

The TRICK to being WILDLY SUCCESSFUL?

You must KNOW when your services CAN be automated to serve your customers and network better.

And you must KNOW when you will put someone off by “scaling” them into your systems.

THEN, you must make people KNOW that you value THEM and actually know something about them and their goals.

As technology expands, the opportunity to try to scale relationships also expands. BUT, people KNOW IT when we are doing this. It is easy to tell when you have been put into a “category”, isn’t it?

TO BE TRULY AWESOME: You must learn when to scale and when to not.

I’ll tell the truth here. I have NO IDEA how Bob Burg, or Jules Taggart, or Carol Roth, or Phil Gerbyshak, or Dan Waldschmidt, or Anthony Iannorino, or countless others do it. But, they DO. I am determined to crack the code and I will be happy to share it with you when I do.

In the meantime, look at your systems.

Where are you SERVING your customers and network with automation? And where are you making them feel small or angry? (BIG PROBLEM FOR YOU: These people will never tell you – they will simply ignore you).

Find ways to LOVE ‘EM ALL UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

 

 

 

Dear Irreverent Sales Girl – from “Call Me in Six Months”

I received a question today from a reader (please send me YOUR questions, they will likely be published and you will become famous!)The 3 Simple Ways to Set Yourself Up For A Sale In The Future

Here is what this entrepreneur asked:

QUESTION:

“Dear Irreverent Sales Girl,

I have developed a software product that is designed for sole-practitioner-business-coaches. It is so popular that 2-3 times a month I get approached by organizations who really like it but need a more enterprise-wide solution (i.e. teams of coaches).

 

I have plans for expanding my product to offer an enterprise version, but it’s still months off and it would be irresponsible to make any solid promises regarding specific timelines. I explain as much during phone calls, and my candor regarding how I don’t have anything to sell them right now is always appreciated.  We always end on a sort of “Great, we’ll be back in touch” or “keep us posted” note.

 

I can’t help but think I could be doing things a lot better for cultivating a connection for a sale down the road, when I DO have a product ready for them

 

.
What can I do to make the best of genuine interest now for an offering I will have later?

 

~ Call Me in Six Months”

Brilliant Question!

ANSWER:

Dear Call Me in Six Months:

First, let me commend you on a few things that you have done very, very right!

* You have created a product that is useful to your marketplace. Kudos!

* You are discovering a new niche (and possibly one with more money to spend!)

* You are telling the TRUTH and gaining credibility

* You are taking the time to develop what will WORK, rather than trying to kluge (yes, that is a word) a product just to sell it now – when you know it will not live up to your standards or theirs.

What is funny is that you gave yourself your own answer – in your sign-off … I will end with that revelation in answer #3. Let’s talk through the 3 simple ways to set yourself up for a sale in the future.

The 3 Simple Ways To Set Yourself Up For A Sale In The Future

#1:  Schedule an hour with the person to do an informational call. You have a crazy advantage here. You have NOTHING to sell , so there will be no pressure. Make sure this is a call that is SEPARATE from the one in which you have gained their trust by telling them you don’t have what they need … right now. If they are serious, they will commit the time.

On this call, get the answers to the following questions:

* What, specifically interests YOU about the software?

* What challenges are you dealing with that you think the software will solve?

* How are you addressing those challenges now?

* What goals do you have currently that you think the software can help you achieve?

* When you see our enterprise solution … and you like it … who else helps decide if you will buy it?

* Are you familiar with how your company buys a product like this and how does that process go?

* What other solutions are you considering right now?

* Do you have budget for this kind of solution, or would it help you to start getting the costs associated with the software, so that you can build it into your budget for the future?

* Schedule a call for six months from now – see #3 below

#2: Set up a reminder for yourself to contact that person once-every-three-weeks. Keep yourself top-of-mind, but not pesty!

The customer will remember that you care. Each contact should be to either:

* Celebrate advances in the development of your enterprise solution

* Ask them how they are doing against the goals you discussed in the first conversation

* Both of the above

#3: Ask them to schedule a call with you for six months from now (see how you answered your own question!). This will accomplish the following:

* It will push you to be ready with an enterprise-wide solution

* It will demonstrate that the customer is truly interested (if they won’t commit to a conversation in the future, they are only vaguely interested)

* It will (in many circumstances) save you from trying to track them down again when you are “ready” (remember, priorities change, but when people put something on the calendar – it makes them think differently about their relationship with you – they are more invested.)

If you are TRULY ambitious…

Create an “Under Construction” newsletter – or some such thing – that you send out to tell people about you, your company, your successes, and what is coming next!

Most of all, of course, keep a database of these marvelous people with detailed notes about your interactions.

SO, “Call Me in Six Months”, I am delighted you asked.

Let’s ask other readers: What do you think “Call Me in Six Months” should do? I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

 

 

The indominatable Thank You Note Wins Again

The indominatable Thank You Note Wins AgainAs many of you know, I recently won Bob Burg’s Grand Prize for his Holiday Contest. (GO www.burg.com! )

As some of you also know, I donated 10% of it to his favorite kind of charity, my local Humane Society.

What happened just a few days ago?

I received a HAND-WRITTEN THANK YOU NOTE for the donation.

Lickety-split and completely unexpected!
The result: The Hobart Humane Society has gone on my favorite charity list – for good! They WILL receive more money from me. http://www.humanesocietyofhobart.org/

It’s simply magical – that hand-written Thank You note. If you aren’t doing it – START!

Love ’em UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl

Using the THREE Fundamentals of networking to sell!

Using the FIVE Fundamentals of networking to sell! A good friend of mine emailed me a FANTASTIC sales training video today. It sparked my imagination and I have added THREE things to my sales process – that I have learned about great networking.

I started using these last week and I’ve gotten FIVE really strong leads from this new approach!

1) EVERY TIME I am talking with a prospect or a client, I am looking to see who I can connect them with in their industry or their town. Somone who I know and would make a difference for the person on the other end of the phone. I become a connector, a thought leader, and a valuable resource.

2) EVERY TIME I am talking with a prospect or a client I am reminding myself: I AM ON A MISSION TO SERVE OTHERS.

3) EVERY TIME I am talking with a prospect or client, I ask “Who do you know that I should be talking to?” “Who do you know who can use my help?” (And then I be quiet. I wait for their response).

Magical!

Thanks, Lynne, for the video!

 Love your peeps UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl

An Amazing Opportunity to Eavesdrop

An Amazing Opportunity to Eavesdrop

When Vidette walked in on her husband…(I’ll let HER tell that part of the story)…an unexpected journey started to unfold.

Vidette’s journey of self-exploration has led her to create enormous breakthroughs in business and personal lives for herself and her clients. She is now an author, an International Speaker, and a TV Host. (I adore her).

You will be astounded by the Vulnerability and Power of Vidette’s message (I PROMISE it is not what you would expect).

Out of her extraordinary experience, Vidette created a six-step process to Re-Invention. Her book, S.O.U.L Mama outlines the steps that will dramatically impact YOU. Get a free 30-minute sneak peek at:

1) How powerful women think (this one’s for the guys)
2) How vulnerability invokes power (this one’s for everyone)
3) How to re-invent yourself – expand past the barriers you may have now (we’ve all got them)

Enjoy a FRESH and exciting look at what is available NOW to you because of Vidette’s gift of saying it how it really is. (It’s like reading the “hot” girl’s diary!)

Join me on January 31 at 1 pm Eastern to listen in to the VaVaVaVoom (Voyeuristic, Vicarious, Virtual) Interview with this dear woman. Register here: bit.ly/vavavavoomregister. The first ten to register AND tweet about the event will receive a FREE book from Vidette! 

Love your journey UP!

The Irreverent Sales Girl