By: Maru Panganiba
With the advent and especially the rapid evolution of the internet, digital marketing has become more and more predominant in the way we sell.
Persuasive texts, sales hooks, bombastic headlines, and chatbots increasingly personalized and constant, have caused a large percentage of the attention given to customers is through automation. This digital automation phenomenon is because according to marketing “gurus”, it is the way to achieve exponential growth.
However, what no one reminds us is that one of the first characteristics that an entrepreneur must have for his customer to buy from him, come back to him, and recommend him is to know how to relate. And this will NEVER be achieved with digital automation.
If you want to sell more and better, you must, first of all, know how to impact your customers and prospects and this can only be achieved by unforgettably relating to them, or as I call it, by offering a MEMORABLE SERVICE.
And I understood this many years ago when I was starting to work, thanks to an ORANGE SODA.
Orange soda and me
What do you do when your boss asks you for an orange soda in the middle of a meeting of high-level executives and you realize that there is no orange soda?
And what does your boss do when he sees you come back with a tray full of glasses of every color but orange?
At that time, I was working as an assistant at the country’s leading and only telephone company and I was with my boss in the middle of an annual planning meeting with senior executives.
My boss, who was giving a conference, covered the microphone to ask me for an orange soda. When I arrived at the reception desk I saw, with great horror, that it was the only flavor that was not available. Confronted with this hopeless situation (we were in a hotel in the middle of nowhere), I decided to bring a glass of each of the available flavors.
Seeing me arrive with a tray full of glasses of all colors except orange, my boss covered the microphone, “I told you orange”, he pointed out. “Since there was no orange, I brought you one of all the ones I could find for you to choose from“, I replied.
To my great surprise, my boss interrupted his conference and addressed everyone saying; “I don’t know what I was saying, but what I do know is that if we all offered the quality of service that this girl gave me, we would be a different company”.
And he continued saying – I asked her for an orange soda, surely they told her there was none and she could have come back and told me the same thing, waiting for me to tell her if I wanted another one or to have taken the drink she wanted and brought it to me, but instead, she asked for a soda out of all the ones available and brought it to me for me to choose, and that is what I call… Customer Service!
My love story with sales and service became from that day in my obsession and it is the one that CONTINUOUSLY guides the service I provide to my clients, thanks to that orange soda. In all the years that I worked as an independent salesperson in large Media companies and my work today as a professional consultant and teacher, my vision of the importance of SERVING the customer remains the same.
Today I would like to share with you three of the principles that have accompanied me during all these years and that have allowed my clients to REMEMBER me, RETURN to me and, above all, RECOMMEND me.
1.- ALWAYS do much more than your ROLE dictates.
Many people believe that they should only take care of the functions dictated by their role. However, if you want to become indispensable to your client, you have to learn and, above all, WANT TO DO, much more than what your role entails. Let me illustrate this with something that happened to me.
When I resigned from my last job to start an entrepreneurial venture, my former CEO called one of my clients to tell him that he was getting a new sales executive. When he told him that he didn’t want to work with anyone else, my manager wanted to know why, to which he replied, “Easy. Maru is training all my speakers to give interviews in each of the states where we have an office, an idea she gave me to avoid traveling to each region and launch a massive advertising campaign in each of them”. My boss interrupted him by telling him that this was not the job of a sales executive, to which my client replied, “That’s the reason I don’t want to work with another executive, Maru always does everything that the other executives would never do for me.”
REMEMBER: ALWAYS DO MORE THAN YOUR ROLE DICTATES.
2.- Go one step AHEAD of his NEEDS.
The “Already done” is one of my main service mottos. Before my client asks me for something, I have already thought of it.
Imagine how wonderful it is for your client to hear you respond when he asks you for something he needs: “It’s ready” or “Yes, I just sent it to you”.
It’s kind of like how a bride feels when she hires a Wedding planner and is told, “You just worry about looking pretty and arriving on time.”
REMEMBER: ALWAYS analyze and reflect on everything your client may need so that you are constantly one step ahead of what he or she needs or can be offered.
3.- Make your client feel UNIQUE to you through SMALL DETAILS.
Many of us think that small details don’t count. However, they are the ones that will make your client feel that he/she is really important to you.
Remembering your client’s birthday, as well as those of their loved ones, paying attention to them when you visit them, sending them a present on special dates, will make your client feel that they really count for you.
However, BE VERY CAREFUL. It is not about sending a simple birthday card or the typical mug with your company’s logo.
To make your customer feel unique is to have with him the details that are REALLY IMPORTANT to him. For example, if your client is a fan of something special, you could personalize an object with the theme of his hobby. A big client of mine is a fan of the famous Star Wars movies. You can imagine then that every time I want to highlight a special moment, that theme will guide my choice. VIP tickets for the premiere of the new movie, Christmas cards with Baby Yoda (his favorite), a Christmas card with images of the characters, etc.
There are several strategies that great service experts recommend to develop this skill. However, always remember that service is not something you dictate to your team, but a value that develops with training and, above all, with time.
Experts and specialists in sales, marketing and service are there to help you achieve this and a consultancy or workshop will always be one of your best investments to transform your service FASTER, BETTER AND MORE EFFECTIVELY.