A couple of weeks ago, during one of the classes of The Action Suite, one of my clients went off on a rant about something which happened to her a week or so earlier. What happened to her has been happing more and more today and with competition, be it from other businesses, or the one competitor which effects everyone, the internet; have businesses forgotten what ‘customer service’ is?
She had walked into a Starbucks and was the only person in line with three people working behind the counter. No one acknowledged her. No one addressed her even with a: “I will be with you in just a second.” One made direct eye contact with her and did not even nod to acknowledge her presence. Finally, many minutes later, someone came to help her. She let her feelings be known in no uncertain terms and left the store without purchasing anything.
“We are currently having issues with our supplier on…” You think: “Great! I now have something in which to make us look better than the competition.” You think this because you have yet to achieve the art of the next question.
Questions form the solid base to any sales calls. This should now be entrenched in everyone’s mind. The question then becomes, what kind of questions should you be asking?
I wish I could give you a list of questions to ask, but I cannot. Every situation is different, every prospect/client is also different and every industry is unique in its own right. However, this does not mean you should not have questions ready to ask.
Society, in general, has a great deal of difficulty coming up with an appropriate reaction to ‘over the top’. Whereas in one circumstance, one group embraces opinions or plans of action, another group will completely disagree and fight to keep it out. These two groups generally belong to the same business.
The definition by Merriam Webster, states that ‘over the top’ includes: “going beyond what is expected, usual, normal or appropriate.” Excluding the last one, which again, is based on interpretation, is that not what every business strives for? To separate themselves from the norm.
Mark Sanborn, leadership speaker and best-selling author noted: “If you aren’t a little different than your competition, you’re in trouble.” Again, we are talking, like we did in the previous blog on differentiating yourself from the competition. However, there are many reasons that the competition is good for you and the service that they provide you is of a great benefit to you.
If you do and sound like everyone else, why would anyone choose you over someone that they are dealing with now? Further, if they are not dealing with anyone else now, why you and not one of the other clones of you? By being one of the collective, you are bringing your product and/or service into the dangerous realm of being a commodity. The only way you will ever win in that scenario is by being cheaper than anyone else. Those clones will then, offer it cheaper than you and so on until someone wins the race to the bottom. As I have mentioned before, that is the race you should never want to win.