You’ve made the sale…now what?

Once you’ve made a sale how do you ensure that the implementation goes well?
That the goods are delivered on time and in Sales Process (Follow Up)good condition? Or that the service was delivered as the customer expected? I spent some time with a friend and colleague of mine, Brian Schiedel, who is a VP Sales for Hire, as I call him. Brian and I meet for lunch and talked about, you guessed it: sales! The last time we met we talked about this very topic and I said, “Hey Brian, I’d like to interview you for my next blog.” Brian, a great guy, said, “Of course!” So here’s what we discussed:


LK: “So Brian, after a sale is made what are the best practices of great sales people?”


BS (sorry for those initials Brian!): “I come from a manufacturing background, and once the goods are delivered I always ask my sales people to call the customer to make sure everything was delivered in good order.”


LK: “Tell me more about that.”


BS: “So one thing I learned over the years is that things can often go wrong and the customer does not always tell you about it. Sometimes they’re busy, sometimes they couldn’t be bothered, and at other times when an error has occurred, they just write you off vowing never to work with your company again.”


LK: “Ouch, that hurts!”


BS: “Yes it does. You always want to show the customer how much you care. I once had a situation with a customer where the goods were delivered to the wrong door. Now that’s not something that she was going to call us to complain about. But what it meant to her staff was that two guys had to take an hour out of their day to move the goods from the back of the building to the front office. It was a lot of boxes, so it was very inconvenient for them to do this.”


LK: “So what happened when your sales person did the follow up call?”


BS: “It was amazing how much she appreciated our call when we asked her if the product had arrived in good order. As a passing comment in the conversation she mentioned the shipping door error, saying that we didn’t have to worry about it, that they had remedied the problem. My sales person immediately apologized and quickly corrected our internal system for the next shipment to arrive at the front office door. The amazing part was how happy this made our customer. She said she felt she was in such good hands with our company and really appreciated the follow up call to check on things.”


LK: “That’s a great story Brian. It really illustrates the importance of consistent follow up to ensure that the customer is happy after the sale was made. Thanks for sharing this with our audience!”


BS: “My pleasure Linda! Don’t forget to ask for a testimonial from a customer like this. And they make great referral sources too!”