The face of your organization is your team. Your front-line staff may appear the most important and certainly they have the most direct contact with your customers, but everyone in your organization has some impact on your front-line staff and sets the tone for your culture. The formula is simple: Happy workers make happy customers. Your people can be your biggest advocates or they can bring down the entire organization. Would you go back to McDonalds if you always had to deal with disagreeable or unhappy people? Definitely not. Have you ever been in an Apple Store and infected by their enthusiasm for their products. That doesn’t happen by treating employees as a business expense. It happens by treating them with respect, involving them in the organization, and making them proud of what your organization is offering.
Treat your team with respect. You’ll not only feel good about how you’re putting a little happiness into people’s lives, you’ll also be investing in the people that have the most power to make or break your organization.
Today I met with a customer who promised that he would sign up for our program if we were willing to bend some rules and provide some extra services to better fit his needs. I said no. Why? Because our program speaks for itself. I am so confident in what we offer that if a customer is choosing not to buy because of some non-essential details or because they want special privileges, then they aren’t the right customer for us.
Whatever product or service you offer needs to be what blows the customer away. If you need to gain customers by offering extras or giving in to demands for special privileges, then your focus needs to be on creating a better product or service or maybe showcasing it better.
The pressure is always there for more sales, for more profit, for more growth. However, it’s not about making the sale, it’s about making the right sales. If I sold to a customer who was only interested in what special privileges they could get rather than our program, then they weren’t interested to begin with. They would most likely be an unhappy customer, one constantly demanding more or extra, because they had never been interested in what we had to offer in the first place.
It’s also not worth compromising the integrity of yourself and your organization for just one sale. You can always make promises you can’t deliver on, but this will only destroy your reputation in the eyes of the customer when you don’t deliver. You can also make promises you shouldn’t deliver, but can probably get away with. This sets a terrible standard where customers learn that everyone is receiving something different for the same price. It also tells the customer that you don’t have confidence in your product. If you’re willing to give extras and break policies to close a sale, then you don’t really believe in what you’re providing. It’s time to either provide something better or find a position with a different organization whose product and service you do believe in.
Making the right sale means making the sale that keeps your integrity and that of your organization’s intact. It means seeking out customers who truly value and desire what you have to offer that will remain loyal, provide repeat business, and spread positive word of mouth about your organization to others. It means sometimes letting go of a short-term sale to ensure the long-term health of your business. At the end of the day, your employees will be proud of what they are offering and your customers will respect you for what you provide and the integrity with which you provide it. The next time you are under lots of pressure from a customer or from your boss, think to yourself not just do we need this sale, but, is this the right sale for us.