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June 11, 2019
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June 18, 2019

When they say yes, ensure you deliver on your promises

Stephen Covey Quote

Have you managed to get some time to relax with a glass of something nice in the evening and celebrate a few sales this week?

It’s been another busy week for me travelling and spending time with clients. Well done to the guys at Green Hat for a busting first month of their new year!

Me and the team at Green Hat (Andrew and Ian) talked about the importance of starting the year positively and with good numbers in your pipeline. As I said to them, if you don’t have leads in your pipeline already, then you HAVE TO WORK NOW to get those leads in place within the next 4-8 weeks.

You get rewarded in sales for the work you put in a few months before; and so if your numbers aren’t great now, and your pipeline is not full of many leads, you need to take ACTION!

Until you find the imaginary ‘new big lead’ fairy to magic up some tasty deals, you have to work to find new prospects and then engage, help, support and build relationships with them. Do this and you have a chance of a ‘yes let’s go ahead’ in a few months’ time.

Procrastinate, make excuses, put other things ahead of sales and prospecting and the numbers won’t lie!

This may seem harsh but it's very true. My passion in life is helping you avoid this as business people, and so if any of the last few sentences ring true then vow to change this from next week onwards.

Need help to stop missing out on targets that you know you should hit? Let's talk!

The best salespeople know that their job isn’t done the moment your prospect becomes your customer and you have their signature on the bottom line.

Delivering on the promises you made is essential to ensuring that your customer is retained and on the right path to becoming a disciple when you ask them for a referral. If we don’t deliver on what we promise, then we won’t get the referral.

Once you make an agreement to do business with a new customer, you only have a short grace period of your customer being impressed at the thought of doing business with you. In no time at all, it’s going to be time to produce results.

It’s unlikely that it’s your role to deliver the product/service to your customer and you will probably be handing them over to an administration or operations team to help them implement the solution you have sold.

Herein can lie a potential issue and its the subject for today's email. It's point number 11 on my Sales is Like Dating model and its all about the Honeymoon period and delivering on the promises you made.

Up to this point, your customer and your team have never yet interacted with one another and are nothing short of complete strangers. There is hope and goodwill on both sides and a desire to make things work, but that’s it.

There is still a core need to deliver and as, when you engaged with the prospect for the first time, it's important to get it right first time!

I’m sure your administration/operations team are great at what they do, but not arming them with a thorough onboarding chest of vital information about your new customer means they’re already at a disadvantage on the wow-factor scale.

Onboarding is the critical bridge to ensuring both team and customer happiness and ensuring a solid foundation for a long-lasting business relationship.

What can you do as a salesperson do to facilitate the smoothest and happiest transition? How can you ensure that your new customer feels looked after and feels assured that they made the right decision?

I’ve always followed my own golden 3-3-3 Rule

3 Days | 3 Weeks | 3 Months

What can you do in the first 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months to ensure your customer’s decision to work with you remains a happy one? What can you do to make your customer feel like they’ve done the right thing in agreeing to do business with you?

Here are my three suggestions for your week ahead, to ensure successful onboarding of your customer.

Assumptions are the termites

ONE - AGREE ON WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE

Things change in business all the time and the needs of your customer may be maturing. You may have a fair idea of your customers expectations, but it’s also a really good idea to agree with them on what SUCCESS will look like at 3-3-3.

This is especially true if you’re offering a variety of products/services - which pain point is the most important and needs to be solved first? Make sure that you and your client are on the same page so that when you’re checking in at each of those 3-3-3 intervals, you’ll hear exactly what you expect to – “I’m so pleased with the results, I made the right decision to work with you!”.

Even if you have an excellent knowledge of the problem you’ve been enlisted to solve, you may not be able to solve all of those problems in the first three days, three weeks or three months even. At those intervals, you should incrementally be able to add value so that your customer is pleased with the results and reassured that you’re on the path to success.

Take the time to have this conversation with your customer, write them down and share them with your team -

In three days, the customer would like to see…

In three weeks, we should have achieved the following…

In three months, it’s critical that xx is in place…

Have you ever been in that position - where you’ve rung a customer to ask for a referral only to be met with the feedback of utter disappointment? I have and it’s an awful feeling. When I looked back as to why it happened, it's because certain tasks didn't happen when they should have done.

This is why onboarding is so important. Take the time to set expectations and agree on your 3-3-3 success milestones. Agreeing on this and having everyone singing off the same hymn sheet means this awful phone call will never be a reality for you!

Failing to prepare quote

TWO – DOCUMENT YOUR ONBOARDING PROGRAM

Important information that falls through the cracks or isn’t conveyed properly means that your team is already at a disadvantage when working with your new customer.

Having a thorough and well documented onboarding process eliminates any human error in having forgotten to do an essential component of the work. The purpose of onboarding is to develop your teams new-customer-knowledge, so that they may become effective contributors to your customer’s success; and to ensure your client is nurtured and acquainted with the team who will be looking after them.

Put in place tasks for key members to ensure that things happen when they are meant to. Make sure that these tasks are well documented so that success may be repeated with the next customer, and so on. Use automated CRM systems such as InTouch or Active Campaign to do this.

Be clear about the plan and what will happen once the prospect has become a customer. If you think your onboarding process needs a bit of a tidy, then I’d suggest the following activity:

James White Business Activity

Consider your answers against your existing onboarding process and revise where needed. A positive onboarding experience reinforces to your customer that they made the right decision in working with you! McDonalds have become the biggest brand in the world because they deliver a consistent experience every time! Customers want consistency and for things to work and be delivered as they want them to!

George Bernard Shaw quote

THREE – COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

After an initial welcome and settling into the onboarding process, everything may or may not have gone smoothly in working towards your 3-3-3 goals. While you have had hundreds or more touch-points with various prospects, your customer has only one impression of you.

If things go right, communicate. If they go wrong, communicate even more. Keep that impression on the side you need it to be and do everything you can to maintain an effective relationship with your customer.

Don’t be afraid to take ownership when things go wrong and offer an apology for your team. In the same vein, celebrate the successes with your team and keep working towards building stronger relationships with your customers through effective communication.

Doing these three things will ensure that you’re positioning your customer for long term happiness, which will bring you greater sales success in the future.

 


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James White
James White
James White is the UK's leading prospect conversion expert. He understands what it takes to convert leads into real business within the modern digital era and what it takes to achieve business success.
James White

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