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Sales Blog - Working with Customers

By Steven J. Schmidt (8/13/08)

To be successful in sales, you have to have the genuine ability to work with your customers. Now, what I mean by being genuine is you have to have the customer's best interest in mind when you want to make the sale. Anyone can make the occasional sale, but if you aren't genuine, the customer will see that and it will be very hard to be successful.

Once you show the effort in trying to to help the customer, they will be loyal to you and remain your customer, even if you raise the price on them. However, if you just make a sale, and you only care about making the sale, your first sale with that customer, will also be the last sale with that particular customer.

I once had a sales rep in the window cleaning, power washing, and gutter cleaning business. He sold the customer all three services, but what was interesting is how it all transpired. The rep obtained a lead at the customer's door. He gave the customer a free estimate and the customer showed interest and wanted to get all three services, but needed to see if they had the finances to do it.

The sales rep called the customer a few days later and left a message just to follow up. The customer called back the following day and said, "I would like to get all three services, but I can only afford to have the gutters and windows cleaned." Those two services totaled out to $300; the power washing of the home was for an additional $450.

The sales rep made a key decision and replied to the customer, "OK, well why don't we do all three services for you, and you only pay us $300 when the job is completed. For the following three weeks, just pay us $150 per week; that way you can get the services that you need and also fit it into your budget?" The customer responded, "That's fine, and that completely works for me."

That, my sales community, is exactly what I am talking about, in terms of working with the customer. Sometimes it might be giving a discount, and sometimes it might be working some type of payment plan out with them, as my sales rep did with this particular customer. The customer realized that the salesperson trusted them in paying for the services in a timely fashion, and therefore chose to get all three services done, simply because the salesperson was working with him!

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