As a pre-cursor to this series I have decided to write about sales and customer service, let me tell you why I’m qualified to do this. At almost 38 years old I have professionally been involved in sales for 20 years. In reality though if I consider one of the first jobs I had, I’ve been in sales since I was 15. Here’s the other part of the equation, the part that I think makes me unique. Up until 7 years ago, I had never had any sales training, none. Despite this I had done very well for myself and received praise from customers and employers for my sales skills. Then about 7 years ago I found one of employers putting all their sales people through a sales training program. You want to know what I learned? I learned that on my own through trial and error I had developed the habits of a successful consultative approach to sales. It was a really good experience and confirmation that I was going the right way. Shortly after this I started working on the wholesale side of selling, this was a little different but I found that I really only had to make a few small adjustments and the results came in.
Big deal right? That’s what your saying at this point or how about, I hate salesman they are all slimy money grubbing losers only interested in screwing me over for commission. Right? Well I’m here to tell you that at least in the case of how I conduct myself and view sales and customer service that that is wrong. I believe that sales and customer service are strongly tied together and that if you do things the right way then the money side of the equation takes care of itself.
The sales process is based on a relationship and it’s about trust, if you don’t trust the person you are dealing with chances are you aren’t going to buy from them. It’s also based on respect, I as a sales professional have to respect my customers and you as a customer owe your sales person respect if they do a good job. Sales and customer service is a two way almost symbiotic relationship, or at least it should be.
So, there is the beginning and there will be more on this topic. I’m going to write about what it is that a good sales person should be doing, what is good customer service, expectations and the role that you as a customer play in this.