On this episode, Paul provides tactics to help you sell your value to an unhappy customer.
You must handle the issue. Make the customer happy.
Make it your mission to create more value for this customer.
There is value in handling the details.
Show your dedication to this customer by calling on them more. But remember, you must ….
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How do I sell value to a dissatisfied customer?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On today’s show, we’ve got a question that comes from the website. This question is from Dale, and I know this Dale. Dale has been through several of my training seminars and Dale has a question.
So here’s the situation. I’m going to summarize what’s going on with Dale, and then I’m going to tell you the question we are going to answer today. So Dale has a customer. About a year ago, he sold him on his solution, yet the customer is not completely satisfied. They’re not seeing the value that Dale had promised them. And this can happen for several reasons. Perhaps the value is there, the customer doesn’t know. But there’s been another issue. There’s been a breakdown—a minor breakdown—which is, I think, uncharacteristic of this type of solution that he sold, but it happened either way. Now since then, Dale has been trying to solve this issue, but the customer has not been giving him any orders since he gave that order a year ago because he doesn’t see the value.
Now Dale mentioned that many salespeople might just give up at this point, but he’s not that type of salesperson, and I know he’s not. So I’m going to give him some tips and ideas to help him through this situation.
Before we do that, though, a quick shout-out to our sponsor over at The Creative Impostor Studios. Andrea and her team do a wonderful job helping you start a podcast, launch a podcast, keep your podcast going. Whatever it may be, reach out to her if you need some help, some ideas. She is there to support you. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage.
Also pick up a copy of Value-Added Selling. We’re now in the fourth edition. It’s available wherever you get your books. Hurry up and get it on Amazon. Amazon was out of stock the other day on the book. It’s just been going like gangbusters. In fact, I think Value-Added Selling is now available in Brazil. That was one of the latest countries. They just started publishing the book. And so, anyway, pick up your copy wherever you get your books. Value-Added Selling is there. In fact, one of the techniques we’re going to talk about today is in the book.
So let’s get back to that question. How do you make the customer see the value after they’ve already purchased your solution? One thing we need to do— Dale, you mentioned that they currently have an issue with the solution that you’ve sold them on. You have to make sure that you manage that issue flawlessly. That’s going to be important. That’s going to be critical. Now, I know it’s never flawless or seamless, but we’ve got to make it smooth. If the customer’s having an issue, remember, those issues are not necessarily the worst thing in the world. Because when a customer has an issue and we solve their problem, we actually gain a little bit of loyalty from them.
So that’s, my first tip. Number one: you have to make sure that you handle the current issue. The one that they’re having, make sure you handle it. Take care of the customer. Do what you need to do to make them happy with that particular issue. I think you had a part or a piece that broke. Hey, make sure you take care of it.
Here’s why I say that. There’s a great book. It’s called Strategic Customer Service by a guy named John Goodman. I read this book several years ago, but there was one statistic in the book that just knocked my socks off. What the author found in his research is that when a customer complains and they’re satisfied by the resolution of the complaint, they actually become more loyal to you than if they never would’ve had the complaint at all. So, if you think about that, this is your opportunity. If the customer is dissatisfied, you need to go back and make sure they’re 100% satisfied. Make sure they’re happy with the resolution of the complaint. Keep working on it. And once you do, man, they’re going to be more loyal to you than ever before. So you use this as an opportunity.
Now, there are some other tactical things that you’re going to need to do. You need to make it your mission for this customer to see the value. Put yourself in the customer’s position for a moment. They purchased your solution about a year ago. They felt that it was going to perform at a certain level. The performance has been below their expectations. Now, our job as sellers at this point, is to always exceed our customer’s expectations. So make it your mission to create more value for this customer.
There are several ways you can do that—and for all of you listening that are experiencing a similar challenge. Number one: when you need to handle a credit or a return, whatever it might be, do so expeditiously. Make sure you take care of it quickly. Get it done. Take care of it. So make sure you handle those credits and returns. Nothing bugs customers more than salespeople that, man, they just take their time doing the paperwork, all that good stuff. No take care of it. Take care of it quickly.
Number two: take a look at their facilities. Ask yourself, ‘Is there a better way we can set this up?’ Help prepare their facilities to receive your goods. Think about ways that you can make their life easier. Add more value when it comes to the setup, comes to delivery, whatever it might be. In fact, remember one salesperson in one of our training seminars. When he would sell his products, and he was selling commoditized products. I mean, these products you could buy anywhere. One of the ways he was able to win and support his customers was simply by offering a higher level of support. And one of them was delivery. He would deliver the customer’s product to specific sections of the project. For example, as customers would say, “We need you to deliver this to the fifth floor in the new extension over there,” their company would partner with a company that would help deliver directly to that location. So that’s what we mean by handling these details, going a step further.
Another thing, introduce some cross-functional team members to this customer. And note here, Dale, you mentioned that this customer is a one-man shop, so they don’t have a lot of people. They’re probably strained for resources. Introduce some of the resources at your company to this decision maker, whether it’s a technical manager, whether it’s an engineer. Whoever it might be, see how you can provide them with more resources. And again, by doing that, they’re going to start to see more value. Maybe not so much in the solution that you sold them, but in the support that you can provide afterwards. So introduce those cross-functional team members to each other.
Also, train as needed. If this customer is a smaller customer, they’re going to be more aware of the money they are spending. So if they spent more on your solution and now it’s not performing to their expectation, yeah, they’re probably going to be disappointed. Everyone would. So figure out ways to build in more value. If this customer has fewer employees, offer some additional training for those employees. Help them become more efficient and more productive. And again, the decision makers seeing this [are] going to think to themselves, ‘Well, you know what? Dale is bringing some value. He’s helping me help my employees. He’s helping me produce parts more effectively.’ Whatever it may be, offer that training to help them [be] more productive.
I remember one group we were training, they were selling in the construction industry. One thing they would commonly do is take some time to show installers how to actually install a fastening system that they were selling. And they would do this repeatedly because they found that most installers were doing it wrong. And if they can help out their customer by showing them a new way and saving them some money and productivity, that’s what they’re going to do. So offer some of that training as needed.
And the final tip, bump up that call volume. Show your dedication to this customer by calling on them on an even more regular basis. But remember, at each instance you’ve got to create value for them somehow, some way. So don’t just pop in and say, “Hey, how you doing? You don’t need to buy anything today do you? No. We stop in, but we create value at the same time. The customer is going to see your persistence. And the more they see that persistence and the willingness to create value, you’re building a perception of value to go with it. So bump up your call volume, but remember, at each occurrence, you’ve got to be creating value for that customer.
Dale, that’s my tip for you, man. I wish you all the best. Just to summarize that number one: make sure you handle those credits and returns in an expeditious manner; help prepare facilities to receive those goods if you have the opportunity; introduce them to cross-functional team members; train them as needed; and finally, bump up that call volume.
Make it a big day.