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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

24. Having Poor Customer Service

By Steven J. Schmidt (3/17/09)

Please do not get this confused with No. 19, Not Following up With Customers. This particular piece focuses on your current customers and being able to pay attention to them orf focus on them as much as possible. If you do not and take them for granted, you run the risk of potentially losing them as a client, which would be devastating.

Making a sale is only half of the battle. Once you have the sale, you have to make sure that the client is happy with the service they are getting. Additionally, you have to be as accessible if they need you. You may as well also be a "problem solver." Suppose a customer has a problem, or they do not understand something, Guess whom they will be contacting to help them through their problem, or help answer their question? If you guessed yourself, well, you would have won a million dollars if this was the million-dollar question on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Unfortunately it's not, so you'll have to keep making sure your current clients are happy.

If you do not get back to your customers in a timely fashion and they aren't happy with the service they are getting, they'll go to another company or salesperson. Forget the million dollars - you'll be struggling to buy dinner if that keeps happening.

If you do not know the answer to a question that they might have, tell them, "I am going to have to get back to you. I am not 100-percent sure, and I want to be 100-percent certain for you." That will ensure them that you are doing whatever it takes to get a real and genuine answer back to them. It also shows that you are trying to help solve their problem, so they will feel like you are in the trenches with them, which will tell them that you are on their side.

Make sure you don't make up an answer that isn't true, because eventually they will find the right answer, and find out that you lied to them. Once they find out, they will drop you faster than the Atlanta Falcons did with Michael Vick once he was convicted of dogfighting. You also want to completely steer clear of avoiding their calls if they need you to get back to them. That will show them that you are unreliable and not dependable.

Imagine signing up an apartment complex that needs to have their entire complex pressure washed. This type of a project could take anywhere from two weeks up to a month. This is exactly what happened to one of my old commercial sales reps, and he did a great job at answering every little question that they had and helped solve some problems they encountered. At the end of the job, the apartment complex was so happy with the service we provided for them, that they gave the sales rep five more apartment complexes that needed the same work done.

If he would not have gotten back to them, they probably would not have given him any leads. In addition, he used to stop in there from time to time just to make sure everything was OK. Bringing doughnuts in probably did not hurt either. After the sale was complete, he still stopped in to say thanks for the business, and to keep the relationship that he developed strong.

Having bad customer service is a great way to ruin or even end relationships that you built. If you are interested in doing so, do the complete opposite of everything I just said. However, I highly doubt you will do that.

Stick to keeping your clients happy and always being there for them. Your clients will always be happy, and in turn, you'll be a successful salesman.

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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