In a breakthrough study conducted by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, of CEB company, involving thousands of consumers, revealed that what actually drove people to choose a company to buy from was their overall sales experience; trumping brand and price by a large margin of victory. The study also revealed that more than half of responders indicated their sales experience was the number two factor to loyalty.
The easier it is to do business with you the more business you will acquire. If we have to wait on hold too long, not get our questions answered, commit to long term contracts, carry all the risk if something happens, not get called back, and ultimately jump through hoops to do business then you are costing yourself hundreds or millions of dollars of revenue.
We don’t have the patience anymore to just hand over our hard-earned money to any old business to take care of our problems or desires anymore. There’s plenty of options out there and the easier it is for us to get what we want, the faster we’ll buy & refer and likely feel more loyal to your company.
How can you ease the burden of entry so you can create more opportunities?
1. Call people back. If you’re rolling your eyes as that’s nothing new. I would agree but it’s often neglected. My friend, Troy Stiller, who is the top real estate agent in my state on why he’s been able to amass so much success–“I call people back.” We’re still waiting to give $50,000 of potential business to a company but they’ve never called us back.
2. Remove the fine print. Don’t do this.
3. Offer a risk-free trial. Sleep number beds sell millions of dollars of beds every year because they let you experience the product for 30 days without having to commit all your money up front. There’s a great classic sales story I read about a gentleman who wanted to buy a horse. He went to the first seller who said for a $500 deposit I’ll let you ride it around here for a moment and you can decide if you want it and pay me the rest. He went on to the 2nd seller and that gentleman had a different approach. He told the guy to take the horse home for a week, see how it acts daily, and adjusts to your environment. If it don’t look like it’s the right one for you call me and I’ll come get it. If it is, then you can pay then. Guess who got the business?
4. Follow up after the sale. We have a mantra at Reset that states “think of the 4th sale first.” You are judged by buyers on your actions not your words.if you’re only thinking of the first sale that is what most likely will happen; one sale. If you make it easy to continue doing business with you, by implementing courtesy check-up calls and finding out how things are going and if everything is up to par with your product or service, customers will sense sincerity and care and likely will reciprocate. Not sure why my bank, who I have my home mortgage through, has never called asking me how I’m enjoying my home and letting me know about other services. Interesting now that I think about it; everything else I have on financing is with different banks. Go figure.
5. Demonstrate. I called a home insurance company one time to find out the difference between them and my current solution. The first answer was undeniably our customer service. Oddly enough she sent me a 13 page document I was to fill out before continuing the conversation. Essentially, I would be doing all the work answering questions about the house. That certainly didn’t give me any motivation to switch. The words customer service are diluted. Demonstrating it is valuable.
There are many other ways you can make buying from your company less stressful and more easy for buyers. But hey, I’m just a guy looking to spend money; what do I know.