Friday, May 16, 2014

Sales Training: How to use the humble customer feedback form to drive sales

One of the key concepts of SG Sales Guru's sales system is the focus on the building of a "relationship" with the prospective client. We believe that trust between the sales professional and the prospect is key to successful selling.

Sometimes during the sales process, a prospect may disengage from the sales professional for reasons unknown. If this happens, the cause can usually be traced back to something the sales professional did. Perhaps he was too pushy, or he said something to offend the prospect. Whatever it is, it is likely something the sales professional did unknowingly.

One effective strategy to re-engage with this client is to send a generic customer feedback form from the "company". A neutral third-party's request for feedback is more likely to generate a response than a request from the sales professional who may have already offended the prospect. This information can then be used for either the "existing" sales professional to follow-up on or, if deemed necessary, the account can be handed over to a "manager" to follow-up. Whoever it is, it is another opportunity to further engage with and build a relationship with the prospect.

However, in order for the re-engagement effort to be effective, the company must offer the prospect some form of incentive to give it another chance. Effective incentives would be a discount on their next purchase or an offer of a free gift. The type and magnitude of the "apology" should be proportionate to the service lapse. Too little and the apology appears insincere. Too much and the apology appears as PR spin.

The key sales lesson I want to share here is that sales professionals must continually engage with their prospects. And if the prospect disengages, efforts must be made to re-engage.