Telemarketing Software Featured Article

The Best Way to Lose a Customer to the Competition

July 19, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell - Telemarketing Software Contributing Editor

There’s a distinct question I ask when making a purchase decision – is there a relationship? Take insurance, for example. A friend reached out and wanted to provide a quote as she’s building her business. While I don’t have any complaints with my current provider, I also don’t know who my agent is today. I originally set up the policy with a friend who has since retired and his replacement never reached out. There’s no relationship there so why not give my other friend a shot at the business?

This is a critical error that too many sales people make – assuming that if you’ve made a purchase in the past you will make the same purchase again. Sales people spend a considerable amount of time paying attention to the potential client, answering all questions, sending additional information, demonstrating great responsiveness. But what happens after the sale is final is a true representation of how the relationship will either evolve or die.

A recent post on Engage Selling highlighted this phenomenon. One key point was stressed: what truly defines the great sales person is not what happens during the sales process, but what happens after the sale is complete. If the sales person does nothing after the deal is closed to maintain the relationship, there’s no reason the customer will stay loyal to that sales person or the company.

For a number of organizations, the sales process is softened by telemarketing software. The solution is in place to help streamline some of the sales activities and allow the sales person to stay focused on the individual. That’s a great approach that can easily lose its luster once the customer is handed over to customer support. At that point, no words from the sales person can leave the customer feeling like they were dubbed into making a purchase decision. This doesn’t have to be the case.

Whether you have telemarketing software in place or not, there are a few things you can do beyond focusing on closing the deal. First of all, listen. The customer is communicating needs to you and some of those will be met in the initial purchase and some could be perfect for an upsell later on. Make notes in your customer relationship management (CRM) or telemarketing software solution so you can come back to the point later.

Second, share stories with your customer. It helps you make that personal connection and demonstrates that the relationship is a two-way street. Plus, the more details you share about yourself, the more buy-in you can get from the customer into the relationship.

Finally, say thank you – not just in words, but through your attention to the relationship after the close. Take the client to lunch, send a personalized thank you note and just check in from time to time. It can make all the difference, especially when it comes time for another purchase.

None of these things are happening for me, so the friend making the recent request is likely going to get my business. After all, she’s earning it.

Edited by Alicia Young