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I would like to start this week’s write up by referring to the instructive quote by Mary Kay Ash (the astonishing American business woman) when she said, “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps”.
When it comes to selling, no business can sell beyond the selling capacity of the people that it decides to hire and retain. “Show me a business that is excelling in its selling efforts and I will show you a business that is managed by excellent sales team members, the type of team members that I like to describe as “charmers”. They master the art of attracting and pulling customers to their products, services and businesses”.
In every business organization that you get to, you are likely going to come across any of the following category of team members whether executive or non-executive team members:
1) The hostiles
2) The uncaring
3) The robotics
4) The charmers
THE HOSTILES: These are the worst set of employees or team members that any business can have. They are usually troublesome towards customers and in some cases towards their co-workers. They make customers feel they are doing them a huge favour. In most cases, they don’t care whether customers get angry or not and they are in the habit of promoting their interest over and above that of their respective businesses.
If you have been to most government agencies and even some private businesses in Nigeria, you would have seen them. They can afford to shout at their customers. They can leave their duty posts while customers are waiting on them. The examples can go on and on. The consequence of their hostile attitude towards customers is that customers often prefer patronizing their competitors. They actually prevent sales.
THE UNCARING: This is another set of terrible workers. They are generally unperturbed by the plight of customers. They really don’t care about customers’ well-being and they resent customers who bring complaints their way. They see customers who complain as people who want to disturb them. You will see a lot of this type of workers in some Nigerian banks whether old or new bank generation.
I was at one of such new generation banks few days back and I observed that all the officers at the customer care desks were all wearing long faces (they were frowning) as they were attending to customers. And I said to myself, “wow, what a way to serve customers”. You could easily notice from their expressions and reactions that they were not happy serving the customers and they did not care about them.
THE ROBOTICS: This category of team members are the most common in a lot of businesses. They do the right things, the way they are expected to do them and nothing more. They are like robots that only do what they have been programmed to do. They focus on meeting the logical needs of customers, but they often forget that the emotional needs of customers are as important as their logical needs. In fact, a lot of researches have revealed that customers make purchases decisions based on their emotions and justify such purchases with their logic.
The robotics usually does not make customers to feel valued, welcomed, understood and appreciated. They do not make any effort to bond customers, build rapport with them or try to earn their trust. And above all, they don’t build lasting relationships with customers and as a result they leave room for their competitors to exploit by snatching their existing customers.
THE CHARMERS: This category of team members are the best that any business can have. They are genuinely caring and genuinely interested in making their organizations the best place to work and the best place to do business. In other words, they are interested in solving problems for their coworkers as well as their customers.
They strive to build nice relationships with customers because they know that having a nice relationship with customers is the finest starting point for a successful sale. So, they create the environment where employees and customers feel valued, understood, appreciated and welcomed. They know that more than any other profession that the selling profession is people-centered endeavor, so they go all-out to sharpen and develop their people skills. They smile when they are attending to customers. They ask customers intelligent and emotionally engaging questions to develop an understanding of their unique needs, wants, desires as well as other issues that are important to them and help them with the best solutions to such needs, wants and desires. They are friendly with both co-workers and customers. They are sympathetic to the plight and interest of customers. They generally charm their customers and make it difficult for them to switch to their competitors because they usually wow them and go the extra mile for them. All these dispositions lead to increased patronage, increased sales and increased bottom line for their businesses.
Now take a critical examination of your business, what category of team members do you have? Are they Hostiles, Uncaring, Robotics or Charmers? If you really want to increase your sales, you need to put an effective system in place that would ensure every position (management and non-management) in your business is occupied by charmers.
Until I come your way again, always remember that “your selling efforts will produce more sales revenue when they are focused on solving customers’ problems and improving their situations”.
Mr Destiny is a trainer and consultant on Business and Customer Service concerns. He organizes training sessions in Asaba and Warri (Delta State), Benin (Edo state) and Lagos (Lagos state). He is married and based in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria. To contact him send a mail to email@example.com