Thursday, November 26, 2009

Consistent Salespeople Retain Customers

I have had the fortunate opportunity to have lived on both coasts and the Midwest in my adult life. I also lived abroad in Asia for year. I have been to every region of the country at one point or another, and visited many states in-between them. Of all the national chains around, there is one business in particular which always seems to be the same no matter where they are operating.

That business is McDonald's. No, I’m not here to pitch their food, service, or nutritional information. What I will say, however, is that they are certainly a model of consistency we should all immolate as salespeople.

Think about it. Do you ever wonder if the food at McDonald’s is going to make you sick? Do you worry about their restroom being dirty? Do you worry about the food not tasting the same when you are half way across the country eating at one of their restaurants for the first time? In my experience, these thoughts never arise as they maintain a high degree of standards which are followed by each and every franchise owner. No matter where you are, you know what you are getting when you pull up to the “golden arches”.

This leads me to my next point. Do your customers know what to expect from you when a problem arises? What is their expectation of you when it comes to keeping them up to date on your new products or services which can benefit their company? Do you maintain consistent communication with your customers or just show up when you think your business with them is “on the rocks”? Do you trash your competitors in conversations with your customers, or do you operate like a real sales pro?

Displaying consistent confidence in areas such as those I mentioned above will keep your customers in a business relationship with you more than anything else. After all, do you really think your customer wants to take a chance on a new company & new salesperson when they already have confidence in you and know what to expect? Can you see how being consistent with your customers will negate price, service, and quality to certain extent?

Being consistent sounds easy on paper, but is hard to practice in reality. If you can be consistent in the way your operate as a salesperson, however, you will keep your competitors from taking away your customers. And if you cannot retain business with the vast majority of your customers, you will ultimately find it impossible to sustain any substantial sales growth.