How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Sales Commandment 3: Make it About the Customer
Guest articles > Sales Commandment 3: Make it About the Customer
by: Daniel Milstein
There is nothing more important than taking care of your customers. All salespeople know this essential fact: make one person unhappy and they'll soon tell 10 or more of their friends and associates about their unpleasant experience.
If you upset a customer and aren't able to rectify the situation, it does not matter how much advertising you do because the damage has been done. It can take years to build trust with a customer, but only seconds to break it. It is nearly impossible to overcome a negative impression. The message here is do everything possible to make your customers consider working with you as being one of the best decisions they ever made. While writing this book, I received a call from a customer who wanted to complain about his closing costs being $750 more than he had originally anticipated. He opened the conversation by saying how much he disliked Gold Star and everyone associated with the lending business. Of course, he waited until seven months after the loan closing to complain, but that is beside the point. I asked the customer to hold while I checked his file. I said, 'Sir, I do apologize for your bad experience. While I was not privy to your conversation with my loan officer, I want to make sure that all of my clients are satisfied.'
'How do you plan on fixing it?' he asked.
I offered to refinance his home at no cost and with a rate of about 0.75% less than what his original purchase transaction was several months earlier. His tone immediately changed to 'You're my family's savior Mr. Milstein.' Of course, the moral of this story is that I kept the customer's satisfaction in the forefront of my mind. Instead of telling him that he had agreed to the fees and there was nothing I could do, I was able to save him about $40,000 on the life of his loan. Rather than merely paying the borrower $750 to go away, we kept a client and all of his future referrals while earning a $5,000 commission. In addition, before the new loan had even closed, he referred two of his co-workers to me. I was able to convert a problem into a 'win-win' situation.
Customers come back to do business with me because I make them feel they are the most important people in the world. I take an interest in their lives, and ask about their families, their jobs and other areas of interest. Every time we speak, I try to imagine I am 'walking in their shoes,' because it gives me a better understanding of their situation.
One of our originators worked for a previous lender, whose sales manager didn't want her to pursue a customer with a small mortgageÑa $20,000 loan at 9%. The customer was thrilled that she could lower her rate, explaining that several companies weren't interested because the loan was too small. However, the sales manager realized the salesperson was assisting with the loan and told her not to bother with it. The originator's response was that 'everyone is entitled to save some money,' and 'I don't discriminate on the basis of loan amounts.' After she had closed on the loan, the originator received a call from the borrower's sister who said she was told to call because of how grateful her family member was. It turned out the sister was a home builder and wanted help financing a subdivision of 60 homes. 'My father taught me long ago to treat everyone equally and that what goes around comes around,' the originator said.
Once you've lost the trust and respect of a customer, it will be a constant uphill battle to get he or she back. It's essential that salespeople have the leeway to serve their customers the way they feel is best.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
Published here on: 09-Feb-14
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