Whenever I get home at around 5 in the evening, I walk into a frenzied fest of family fun. Claire cooking tea, answering the phone, simultaneously assisting with the children’s homework, stroking the dogs, and emptying the dishwasher. So I soon head to my office to escape the carnage.
Claire is totally frazzled at this time and has no time to handle me as well.
This evening routine reminds me of the modern customer, who happens to be frazzled all the time not just at 5pm. Teams shrinking in size, existing managers having more responsibilities, the demands of businesses, technology and social media yelping at them continuously, all contribute to this current scenario.
The last thing they want is a salesperson getting in their way.
But if they need your product or service, they really want the process to be as simple and less time consuming the better so here’s 4 ideas to help your customers during your sales process.
- Before the meeting, provide an agenda for them to add to. Don’t ask them, just do it. Most customers are quite happy for you to do this.
- When submitting your proposal, make sure you have a next step attached. Let them know that the way you normally do business is to present the proposal over a ten minute Skype meeting or telephone call. Agree the next steps to save them having to get back to you. Say that you’ll contact them on 22nd June in the morning, to see how they wish to proceed. Don’t leave it up in the air as they’re so busy they’ll not do so.
- Make it easier for them to respond. I like to give customers multiple choices. If I haven’t heard from them in a while, I’ll send an email saying that that they can reply A, B or C. A is haven’t had a chance to look at the proposal, B is they’re still considering and C is they have found another solution. This multiple choice arrangement can be used in many communications. When you’re prospecting and doing the 14 touchpoints, when trying to pin them down to a decision.
- The final tip is a little pushy…well sort of. Let me explain. When looking to pin your customer down to an appointment, try sending them an Outlook Calendar request with a fixed time. You’ll be surprised how many potential customers will respond positively.
The key is to make life easier for them, do the mundane tasks for them and take control with your sales process in your time.
5pm in the Archer household, with Claire. I actually take off my coat and empty the dishwasher for her, shuffle up to the kids and help them with their homework, stroke the dogs and make sure the peas are in the microwave for 4 minutes. That way I can help her achieve her objectives, and talk about my day.
Or do I head for my office whilst no one is looking? Which do you think I do?