Well, as a sales executive and a program coordinator, I has just too many things to accomplish. My product is somewhat special compared with others. I am selling premium and pricey oversea educational services (a.k.a sending the kids oversea for an Exchange High School Year). Special product, of course, will come along with a special package of sales and customer services pre-during-post sales. And trust me, with just a year doing this job, I’ve learnt tons of things which already make me so ready to be a senior sales or customer service executive or even manager.
1. Customers – Your sweethearts and enemies at the same time:
Hey, am I saying it aloud? Well, I find it really true while selling this kind of service. The package is considered pricey and thus the customers can just jump on me any time if I do not offer them the sufficient information on time (“on time” = the time before they have the “report” from their kids oversea). So, what I am trying to do here in order to reduce or minimize the risk of crisis is contacting them as soon as I know anything or just to be proactive and learn to sense the problems before hand from their tones.
Trust me, the customers are our sweethearts most of the times if we offer them what they think they should get: happy kids oversea, all the info is delivered in advance, greeting once in a while not for any particular occasion, a phone call sometimes just to ask how they are doing, the effective and quick communication between the sales office and the production side to solve any problems that may happen, a great attempt to listen to their stories (even if it’s crappy!) and especially the sense of maturity and understanding in our voice talking to them. Aren’t those too demanding for a customer to think about?
Yes, you may think but unfortunately, that’s what I am doing right now.Another one lesson learnt after 1 year working is that I had to carefully select who I am dealing with. If I sense that this person can be a trouble-maker for me, I will try to decline his/her wish of registration even though I know that my boss may look at me like I am a loser. Well, just think about it, I can get another customer just 3 days or 1 week after declining this customer. And it will be a lot better than I have to face lots of troubles created by this person and that may also make my boss yell at me afterward, asking me to settle my own problems with him/her. Select your customers wisely, that’s what I will say.
2. Your boss – a great shoulder to lean on:
Like it or not, boss is still a great shoulder to lean on even if he/she may want to kill me if I just get 78, 79 while the target is 85. Of course, my boss did appreciate that I have reached the target and my selection of customers did not make him feel so stressed out with potential problems.
The thing is, how can I make my boss a great shoulder to lean on? Simple, I am always honest “in a nice way” with my boss and learnt to Cc my email to him/her whenever I felt that this email may carry problems which need early involvement from a higher level. At least, I can receive certain advice from my boss regarding my way of reacting or decision making. That will help a lot, you know!
A boss can only be your great shoulder to lean on when he/she trusts you enough. Don’t ever think that he/she is too busy and has no time to check on you! Wrong, completely wrong! Even though my boss is burying herself with loads of work, she still gives me accurate comments on my job and what she expects me to do in order to get to a higher level. What a sharp boss, you may think. Of course, if she isn’t sharp, she won’t be my boss, come on!
3. My tips to deal with customers and win the deal:
– Be confident in your look even if you have a few or a lot of extra pounds! First impression (2 – 3 seconds) is absolutely crucial so be ready to meet up with a so-thought potential customer with a great smile!
– Put your faith and believe in the product that you’re selling or trying to turn a potential customer to a real one. Because if you don’t, the customer won’t believe in it, either.
– Don’t promise them anything! Trust me, you can’t promise them everything just to get a sales record and then leave a mess for other people to clean up. The boss won’t forgive for such salesperson! Not promising customers things you aren’t sure will keep you away from future troubles, as well. Stick with what your organization is offering and don’t ever send your customers to cloud number 9 and let them fall freely in an air-crash. You’ll regret!
– Keep in touch with your customers! Just a short phone call once in a while to make them feel that you’re always caring about them. And trust me, that will help you have more sales figures as the current customers will introduce more potential customers to somebody they’re happy with.
– Be calm when crisis or bad things happen. It’s unavoidable sometimes and no choice, you’ve gotta face it! Still, even if the customers are so furious that they can tear you into pieces, listen to whatever they’re whining about and suggest the best solution you can give. Don’t go beyond the limit and you will make things worse! When you are working on the problems, do let your customers know even if you’re going to nowhere. A phone call or a short email saying that “Dear sir/madame, until now we are still working on your problems and we hope to give you the positive results asap. Please understanding that we’re still working on them and we truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation!” will make the customers feel that we have a good sense of cooperation and responsibility. At least, if the results do not turn out good as expected or hoped, the customers will be less angry with you and you can still have time to try other solutions.
– Treat your customers as people, not as problems!
– Last but certainly not least, pray a lot before you start “blah blah blah” about your products or you solve the problems. After all, all those strengths above are given by Father in prayers.
Well, it’s very late now and I’ve gotta go since my bed is desperately looking at me. When I have more time, perhaps I’ll sit down and continue this entry since it’s such a good reminder of the way I am supposed to work. One year already, wow, it’s been one year!