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Jim Bell

Jim Bell Performance Manager

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Customer Contact: The Moment of Truth

c1fcf8211206a1b1d012b748d0c813b2.jpg?t=1In sales, we all have that first moment of truth, or the first impression.  We all want to make a great first impression for not only yourself, but the company you work for.  We want to make sure that it is a positive impression and that will only give you that chance of closing the deal.

There are 7 seconds where a customer can make 11 impressions about you and the company that you represent.  Almost all of them, YOU control.

Cleanliness:  Make sure that you and your area are clean.  Make sure that your shirt is pressed, tie not loosened and hanging down, and your desk is in good working order.  If you have piles everywhere on your desk, you may look disorganized.

Attractive:  This goes hand in hand with cleanliness.  Make sure that you are clean shaved.  If you wear a beard or goatee, make sure that you keep it trimmed and looking good.

Credible:  We all want to be credible salespeople.  When asked a question and you don’t know the answer, don’t BS your way through it.  Customers may know the answer and may be testing you.  Be honest and just say, “I’m unsure on that, but will be happy to check on that for you.”  Being upfront and honest will benefit you more in the long run.

Responsive:  Focus on your customer and what they are saying and asking.  Don’t daze off.  Stay focused and stay engaged with your customer and don’t let other things get you sidetracked.  If you have personal things going on at home, put them in a ‘brown paper sack’ and leave them at the curb when you pull into work.

Friendly:  Be friends with your potential customer.  When you show that you care about their needs and wants, they will respect you more.  Get to know them.  When you do follow-up, ask about their kid’s events or activities that you may have learned about in the sales process.

Helpful:  Listen to your customer’s wants and needs.  When you listen, they will tell you how to sell them.  Give them all of the information that they are looking for.

Empathetic:  Be aware of their concerns.  Use the feel, felt, found scenarios that you have seen over the years in sales.  “Some of my customers have felt that way.  What they found is….”

Courteous:  Be courteous of them and their time.  We all have had that customer that says they only have 10 or 20 minutes.  Those are the best customers.  They know that time is money, and they have money!  Treat their time with you like gold.  They will respect you more when you respect them and their time.

Confident:  You must be confident in what you are selling.  If you don’t have confidence in the product, leave that company.  Why sell something that you don’t believe in?  You have to be quick with you answers and know your product that you are selling and selling against.

Professional:  If you aren’t professional, you might as well not be at work.  The customer wants to be treated with respect.  If you are flirty with a customer, that will cost you in the end.  Yes, you can joke around with the customer a little when you have the rapport in place, but until you have the rapport, you have to make sure that you stay professional in all you do.

With these 11 impressions that the customer can make, they make 3 decisions.  They will decide if they like you, dislike you, or are indifferent.  You are the factor in all of these impressions.  If you fail in one of those impression factors, that may cost you the sale.

Dave Martinson
I liked the line:" If you don’t have confidence in the product, leave that company." It rings true for me. It's exactly what I did, many years ago.
Jae Chang
12. find a connection.. Great post Jim!!

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