I see it all the time. Sometimes multiple times in a single week. And when I am party to it, I see red. I feel the hair stand up on the back of neck, and my heartbeat seems to shoot into overdrive.
Why don’t more people realize that it takes months, even years, to earn a customer, while a single mismanaged phone call can put a dent in your income without saying a word?
Consider yourself warned. You DO NOT have to shoot yourself in the foot. Learn by my observation. This is a true story.
I called my gas company this week to ask them to “top-off” my holding tank prior to my leaving town for a couple of months. As a customer in good standing I was expecting an upbeat greeting. I received a silent response when I said, “Hi Michelle. This is Mike Marchev.”
All I heard was silence. I then took this silence as my cue to continue talking by mentioning “I am calling since I will be heading to Florida and need a “top-off.” Since it was 12 degrees at the time of my call, I thought this information might have stirred the pot and elicited a lively barb or two. Again, silence.
From my viewpoint, I gave this phone receptionist two large opportunities to build on an already sound relationship. BANG! She shot herself right in the foot and unbeknownst to her, took her company down with her.
I called looking for a friendly conversation. I finished my gas order feeling less than appreciated.
I am not going to write a script for you when you find yourself in these relationship-building situations. What I am going to do is remind you that (1) These daily common events are enormous opportunities to establish rapport; (2) it should be easy to be friendly and interested in your customers; and (3) don’t shoot yourself in the foot simply because you might be having a bad hair day and you just don’t feel like making a living at the moment.
BANG! I can hear it again.
Mike Marchev is the author of the sales book titled Become The Exception and is a popular speaker at industry events. You can receive a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled “Your 12-Word Marketing Plan.” Email Mike and put the number “12” in the subject box. Also, ask about his 3rd Annual Training Cruise coming in November. Mike@MikeMarchev.com.