Having a thought through sales process is important for all sorts of reasons but I came across a classic one in our visit to Nice, so thought it will work well as an example;
Before setting off on our holiday, we hired a car on the web and we were allocated the local car hire giant, Gold Car. As we knew we were paying fairly cheaply we decided to purchase an insurance policy covering the hefty £1,200 excess required in case of an accident. Naturally we expected our policy to be accepted locally by way of guarantee, only to discover that not only were we expected to pay a deposit of £1,200 or buy their own insurance, we also got advised not to buy insurance online from a virtual company in future. This being the very virtual company that brought them a bunch of customers in the first place…
So we ended up paying for the insurance twice, realising that cheap car insurance is not always what it seems… But the point of this Blog is not to provide Avis with a free advert. As you can imagine, many people were going through a very similar process in that crammed car hire place and we watched customer after customer lose their rag, resulting in aggravation for all involved in the process.
Now, you might say that they need to work on their customer service at Gold Car and you will be right, but I actually think that their bigger issue is their sales process. Having flogged their car hire so cheaply, their profit model depends on selling customers extras including insurance, SAT NAV and baby seats and that is hard to do when your target clients are cheap skates like me. So the way they chose to persuade their clients to spend more is by putting them between a rock (pay a hefty £1200 deposit) and a hard place (pay £120 insurance). I would imagine that in the short term they will do well out of their approach but then people will start complaining and putting bad reviews online, scaring new customers away and it will backfire.
I realise that some companies may not look to be here long term and care very little about their reputation and customer experience but most business owners are not in this position. So how can they do better? They need to create a step by step sales process for their staff demonstrating the right outcomes at every stage ensuring the same result but through an overall positive experience. They could do with training their staff and overseeing the process till they got it right. This will allow them to tackle the situation by way of considering the customers’ state of mind and reactions, thus dealing with the situation better, creating rapport and trust and giving clients a feeling of value for money that will get them coming back in the future. In fact, taking better care of clients, listening to them and emphasising with their situation can go a long way when delivering more difficult news such as having to pay extra insurance.
This may well cost more money in the short term but I think you should always know what your long term goal is and if it is to still be around in 12 months, then it is key to invest in a sales process and make sure it is used by all across the company.
Want a template to get you started? E-mail me and I will send you mine. Also, if you find this post useful I will grateful if you would share it with your network.