Sales Tips to Live By - Seven Rookie Sales Mistakes that Undermine Customer Retention
Guest article from July 2009
One would think that having the highest prices in town, not having all the answers to customers' questions, or telling the bold-faced truth would be reason enough for your customers to take their business elsewhere.
I guarantee that, using these seven proven profit repellents, you'll successfully lose your pesky customers (and all of your profit) in ten days or less:
Profit Repellent #1:
Memorize your company's literature and prepare yourself to regurgitate information about your company, your products, and yourself. While it may seem that having the right answers to every question imaginable may just cause them to want to spend their money with you, it is actually the fastest way to flash freeze any rapport you may have accidentally created.
Profit Repellent #2:
Remind your customers of how long your company has been in business, how powerful your local presence is, and how many trucks you have on the road. You may think that customers will find comfort and security knowing this information but, rest assured, offering them this useless information will remind them that you have nothing of substance to talk to them about.
Profit Repellent #3:
Be the first person to always bring up the price and take it a step further by offering unsolicited advice on how to save money by cutting out services and options they do not need. Contrary to popular belief, customers are not as price sensitive as you think. Therefore, if you obsess over it you have a sure-fire way to reaffirm that you do not feel the price is fair and reasonable.
Profit Repellent #4:
Remind yourself daily that your customers are always shopping your competition, and make sure you aggressively point out how inferior they are to your company. You may think that educating your customers about the competition would be something that would help the relationship, but if you're serious about losing them as a customer, you should really focus on making yourself look like an insecure child by obsessing over your competition.
Profit Repellent #5:
Practice your negotiating skills with colleagues and friends. You need to be ready to drop your price, increase your offer, and ask them, "So, what is it going to take to earn your business today?" Despite what you may have learned, this "always be closing" mentality works like a charm to completely shatter any modicum of respectability you may have had leading up to the negotiation.
Profit Repellent #6:
Always agree with your customers because the customer is always right. If you disagree with your customer, they may accidentally get the impression that you know what you're talking about, or heaven forbid, that you are actually an expert in your field. By always agreeing with your customer, you are all but guaranteed to lose the customer the moment somebody demonstrates competence and expertise, even at the expense of telling the customer that they're wrong.
Profit Repellent #7:
When talking to customers always follow the k.i.s.s philosophy, and keep it simple stupid. Instead of being transparent and thorough, just summarize your entire value proposition into a cute acronym.
If you make the mistake of explaining your recommendations and methods to your customers, they'll understand why you charge so much, how you're different from your competition, and why it makes sense to do business with you; then you'll never be able to get rid of them.
These recommendations are not for everybody; they are only for those salespeople who are trying to lose their customer and repel anything that resembles a profitable relationship. If, for some reason, you are actually trying to keep your customers and make a profit, then simply reverse these recommendations and you'll have all of the customers you can possibly handle.
Article by Tom Richard, Creative Director / Copy Chief at Bolt From The Blue. www.boltfromtheblue.com
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