There’s what you do to sell, and there’s everything else. There’s your main business and there’s everything else. If you’re not bucketing your time and your chores and your day’s plans accordingly, how do you think the results will turn out?
I lead with sales because I’m convinced that everyone in every organization is now part of the sales force. I also think you’re part of customer service, but there are no customers without sales. Sales comes first. No matter if you’re the bagger at the grocery store to the CFO, your job is sales and then customer service, and if you don’t think it is, your company’s health is probably just as questionable as the rest of the businesses out there.
You Are In Sales
Put sales into every day. Put customer service into every day. Do something to touch both buckets every day. You might also have to do promotion. You might also have to do the grinding chores that make up the rest of the role you play, but your role is sales.
When I say it, I tend to mean sales sales, but that’s up to you.
You are in Customer Service
Peter Shankman and Marsha Collier both wrote good books on the new customer service. Read these and think in the ways they talk about it. Customer service is now as important to marketers and operations engineers as it is to the people who answer the phones. And the social phone is ringing. Are you there to answer it?
Sales people don’t push a product; they listen for people’s needs. The really good sales professionals I’ve met sell other people’s products just as readily as they sell the one they’re paid to sell. Get in that habit, the habit of being helpful. Find people’s needs as a matter of fact. Find them even when you’re not really on duty. Listen to people. Listen to what they’re really saying versus what is coming out of their lips. This will pay you forever.
Think Customer Service
The #1 trait of excellent customer service is empathy married to action. Sometimes, empathy is all you can deliver. I’m sitting in an airport writing this at 5AM because our plane was rerouted due to an emergency onboard. It’s no one’s fault. But none of the passengers really want to be here. Everyone has dealt with us with empathy first and foremost, and that’s what matters. They’ve spoken from our side of the fence. They’ve been personal with all their interactions.
Empathy plus action is what makes great customer service. You can practice this as often as possible, too. You can do it at home. Get on the other person’s side of the table as often as possible. Look for potential ways to help. And remember, listening and making someone feel heard is every bit as important an action as any other (note to men: we tend to leap to action instead of helping a woman feel heard – that’s from studies I’ve read and John Gray’s work).
How are you selling? What works? What feels uncomfortable? When I say you’re in sales, are you feeling it? Or are you still reluctant to accept that?