The other day I got a sales flyer by email from a specialty music company, one I often order from. The flyer featured amplifiers, and I happened to want to buy one for a gift. So I read the flyer and called the company within an hour to place an order. I acted quickly because the sales copy said supplies of certain amplifiers were limited.
I told the friendly telephone sales rep I had just received the "all electronic" sales flyer that featured amplifiers, and I wanted his advice on the best amplifier for my needs. He said he had not received the flyer, so he did not know which amplifiers I was referring to. However, he could locate the products if I gave him their names and product numbers.
I was disappointed. I expected the sales rep to be familiar with the flyer I had received and to be able to talk with me about the products on its pages. When I realized he had not seen the flyer, I silently doubted that he could help me, and I worried that he would not have correct information about the sales prices.
The sales rep saved the situation. He asked me which amplifiers had caught my attention and what I wanted an amplifier for. Then he talked intelligently about which products were more amplifier than I needed and which seemed suited to my needs. I placed an order and felt confident about the choice I had made and the price I was paying.
Retail companies go through so many steps in the sales process. They choose products to feature, set sales prices, check inventories, design flyers, write persuasive ad copy, proof the ad copy, and email sales flyers to their customers. With all those steps, it is a shame when the sales process fails because telephone sales reps are not prepared for customers.
Does your company go through an extensive process to sell products or attract clients? Is it possible that the process is weakened by a lack of preparedness for customers and clients when they call, email, order online, or stop by?
Communicate. Do whatever it takes--in writing, training, and other ways--to prepare employees for customers and clients. Send sales flyers to employees too!
What is your view? Have you been disappointed as a potential customer? Does your company do things right?