Customer Service: You Either Want to Do It or You Don’t

I just had an absolutely amazing customer service experience. It was so unique I had to write about it.

For almost 24 years, or since I started my business, we have been buying our office supplies from a company in the Chicago area named Reliable (www.Reliable.com). I don’t think you could find a more appropriate name for a company. They have always been reliable, responsive, available and accommodating. No problem too big, no task too small.

Today I opened an envelope from them that had been sitting on my desk for a week. I thought it was a bill but it turned out to be a statement saying my last invoice was past due. This was strange since I always pay their bills on time.

I pay all my bills online so I looked it up and found the payment was sent on January 29th but as yet, had not cleared, which was strange, so I called Reliable. Here’s where it gets good.

I dialed the phone and a real, live person picked up before the phone even rang on the other end. How they did that I have no idea. Better yet, why can’t more companies do that?

While I was impressed, I figured now I’m going to have to tell my problem to this woman who will only switch me over to someone else: WRONG! She not only was the right person to speak to but she knew exactly what the problem was (they had closed their Chicago box where payments used to go and now had a PO Box in Atlanta for payments. My payment obviously went to Chicago and would be coming back.), explained it to me in words I could understand and gave me 3 choices.

Pay the bill now and wait for the first payment to come back. Wait for the first payment to come back and then pay the bill. Or, put a stop on the first payment and then pay the bill. In all 3 scenarios the late charges would be wiped out.

Since I trust them implicitly (their return policy is so hassle-free it’s almost fun to return stuff. Almost.), I paid by credit card right then and there and was off the phone within 5 minutes: A truly unique experience.

Why are experiences like these the exception and not the rule? What that woman at Reliable did was nothing anyone else or any other company couldn’t do. It was only what most people and companies have no desire to do; that’s the big difference: Culture.

– Warren?


I can’t wait to hear from you!

Here’s a quick reminder that tomorrow at 6pm I will be simulcasting my effective prospecting seminar live! This is a great opportunity for you to get on track with your sales prospecting for 2010. We will have a Q & A period where you can ask me anything at all about your prospecting efforts.

You can attend this simulcast via phone or your web browser from wherever you are. All attendees will receive a digital recording after the event.

Sign up now by clicking this link and have your questions ready for me tomorrow at 6pm EDT! I can’t wait to hear from you!


Prospecting: The Warm-up Letter

A while back I received a call from Pierre, a financial advisor who works for a major bank in Canada. Pierre called to tell me he had just listened to my online audio program on prospecting, Don’t Count the Yes’s: Count the No’s; really enjoyed it and had a question.

He wanted to know if when preparing to make your calls, after identifying who you will be calling, would it be helpful to send an introductory letter to each person telling them you will be following up with a phone call. The answer to this is not as cut and dried as you might think.

First off, for those of you who think sending the letter makes the call “warmer,” it only makes the call “warmer” for the caller. The people receiving the letters either don’t read them or forgot what they read soon after. On the other hand, and this is what I told Pierre, if sending a letter will make it easier for you to overcome the fear of calling, then, by all means, send the letter. Since call reluctance is the biggest problem salespeople face, anything you can do to motivate yourself to generate more activity, to me, is a good thing.

If you are going to send out a letter before the call make sure, at the end of the letter, you write, “I will be calling you on (and plug in a specific day and time) to set up an appointment so we can discuss this further.”

By doing this you are making sure you keep the focus on what you want to achieve (getting the appointment) and you just might find there will a small number of people who will actually be expecting your call. One word of caution: if you tell people you’ll be calling them on a specific day and time, make sure you follow-up and do it.

If you found this idea useful and want to learn more about how to sell more appointments, get in front of more hot prospects and increase your business, make sure to click here and sign up for my next Prospecting Simulcast (Jan. 20th at 6pm EDT) to get your sales effort on track for 2010! You can attend by listening via webcast or by calling in from wherever you are. Additionally, you will receive a recorded version of the event.


London Keynote Speech

Two weeks before Christmas I had the opportunity to fly to London to deliver the Keynote Speech at the Mid-Winter Conference for the British Dental Trade Association, an organization consisting of companies who sell products and services to dental practices throughout the U.K.

My audience consisted of approximately 100 Managing Directors, Sales Executives, business owners and other top managers from many of the member companies.

My speech focused on three main points:

1. How to sell and succeed in a recession. Much like the U.S., the U.K., until late 2008, had seen pretty much nothing but prosperity for the previous 25 years. Sure, there were a couple of small recessions here and there but, just like us, good times prevailed.

Most of their salespeople had never sold during tough times and didn’t know how. In fact, they were probably doing more order taking than selling, which is what happens when times are good. But now, facing the same economic problems we are they are being forced to go out and get business, something many of them are not used to (sound familiar).

2. How and why they need their salespeople to become experts, advisors, resources and single points of contact (E.A.R.S.). Some of the companies represented in the audience were already doing that; and having success in spite of the economy (funny how that works).

I made the point that being “E.A.R.S.” would make them indispensable to their clients and give them their best shot at increasing market share, which should always be the main focus during a down economic period, thereby positioning yourself nicely when the turnaround comes; which it always does.

3. The importance of “Showing UP!” This tied in perfectly with point number one since showing up during a recession is far more important than showing up during good times. Remember, when you don’t show up during a recession clients just assume you’re out of business; which brings me to my final point:

It seems no matter what country I’m in; I hear the same complaints from sales executives about salespeople: THEY DON’T SHOW UP, THEY DON’T MAKE ENOUGH CALLS AND THEY DON’T GET IN FRONT OF ENOUGH PROSPECTS!

Remember, you can’t run and you can’t hide because no matter where you go in the world there are no magic formulas; it’s all about prospecting.

I will be back in the UK in July, when I’ll be speaking in Glasgow. Hopefully we can connect then.

To all of you a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2010!


2010 Effective Prospecting Simulcast

The next “Prospecting Skills that Work,” teleseminar will take place on January 20th, 2010 at 6PM Eastern Daylight Time, (5PM Central, 3PM Pacific). If you are interested in getting more appointments, seeing more prospects and increasing your business sign up right now. All you need to take part in this 2 hour session is either a phone, a PDA, a laptop or a desktop.

I believe this could be the most important and critical seminar you will ever attend. In these economic times prospecting is the most important thing you can do, because if you’re not doing it, you could be out of business or out of a job.

Sales executives constantly tell me the biggest reason their salespeople aren’t doing enough business is: they’re not talking to enough people. They’re not making the calls, they’re not getting in the door and in front of prospects and consequently the pipeline is empty and that means no future business.

Selling is rejection, plain and simple. The top salespeople can deal with it, the rest can’t. They don’t see enough people because they fear rejection. They fear rejection because they don’t know how much rejection they need. After this teleseminar is over, you’re going to be able to handle rejection better than at any time in your career.

In this teleseminar, Prospecting Skills That Work, we’re going to cover five important areas of prospecting.

  1. Why prospecting and generating consistent every day activity is so important,
  2. How to handle rejection by understanding how much rejection you need.
  3. How to prepare for and make the prospecting call,
  4. How to anticipate, handle and turn around objections,
  5. Specific practice techniques guaranteed to make you better.

If you attend this program, use the Action Guide and implement the ideas you learn here’s what will happen:

  • You will learn how to control the conversation while anticipating and turning around objections better than ever.
  • You will be given a simple, easy-to-use call counting system that will allow you to know your success ratios for every step of the sales process
  • This call counting system will teach how to handle rejection better than you ever have, which will enable you to;
    • Make more calls
    • speak to more decision makers
    • sell more appointments, and make more presentations and, the greatest benefit of all
    • Close more sales and make more money

During this 2 hour teleseminar, which you can attend either via phone or webcast you will have the opportunity to ask me any questions related to your prospecting effort. In fact, you’ll have the opportunity to send in questions before and during the event. So sign up now and start giving some thought to what questions you want answered.

Aside from an informative, entertaining and idea packed 2 hours, here’s what else you will receive for your investement:

  • A 23 page Action Guide complete with
    • Call counting system
    • An easy-to-follow step by step script development template
    • Turn-arounds you can use for your most common objections, plus many more valuable tips
  • A digital recording of the entire session which you can download to your computer and listen to as much and as long as you want.
  • A free copy of my online audio program, “Supercharged Selling: The Power to be the Best.”

So sign up now and join me on January 20th, 2010 at 6PM EDT for a session that’s guaranteed to jump start your sales effort.