I have talked to clients and prospects who think delivering just the training is good enough. They invested in the training, had it presented and consider it done. We all know it is not that easy. A lot of training is delivered, but if not all of it sticks, it can be a problem.
Your customers and prospects face a crowded world out there. They are constantly bombarded with messages and reminders. In addition to traditional media, social media and the Internet have made it more crowded.
So how do you stand out? What makes a customer want to do business with you and your company? That is a loaded question with lots of answers.
- Determine your social media presence. While the rental world is not leading the social media charge, it still is an important communication tool. At a minimum, your company should be on Facebook and LinkedIn. Promoting these tools allows another way to interact with customers and also reminds customers that you and your company are progressive.
- Be accessible. Make certain customers know your email address, cell number and office number. Make it easy and convenient for customers to contact you. While your location may be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the reality is that your customer may be thinking about work beyond those hours and would like to contact you.
- Consider generational differences. Remember that not all people communicate in the same manner. People are working into their later years, so you are likely to encounter customers and prospects ranging from 20 to 70 years old. Adjust your communication style to fit the needs of your specific customer — ask them how they prefer to keep in touch.
- Be customer focused. The more successful salesperson can think from the customer’s point of view. Every company has policies and procedures, but you need to make certain these policies continue to make sense and are customer friendly. It should be easy to do business with you and your company. Too often the customer has to work hard to go through forms and paperwork and other details. Do what you can to make it effortless. You need to be nimble and willing to adapt to the customer’s needs. It does not mean you give away your services, it just shows you are flexible and accommodating. If you don’t meet their needs, there is a competitor nearby who will.
- Focus on the relationship. Customers enjoy doing business with people with whom they are comfortable. Try to develop a personal connection — perhaps through sports or community activities — so there is another connection with the customer. You ultimately want to build loyalty and that will be easier to accomplish when there is a positive relationship.
You want to build a reputation as the best service provider in your market. You want your customers to know that you can help them succeed by providing for all their needs. Setting yourself apart is not easy, but the results are well worth the effort.
Barry Himmel is a senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, Ohio-based consulting company offering sales and customer service training, marketing and mystery shopping services for the equipment rental industry. For more information, call 800-398-0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com.