I remember when I used to train the new recruits in my previous occupation, I would tell them the 3 most important rules in sales.
- (you guessed it) Listen
Whenever we’re engaged in a conversation with a client or even a colleague, we’re frequently thinking about what we want to say rather than listening to what the other person is trying to say. This is especially true with technology.
All too often I see eyes glaze over when trying to explain systems and processes whether it be for how phone systems operate or repairs to a computer.
I’m fond of making the joke that I wasn’t hired for my technical skills but I do know how to communicate and that skill has proved invaluable to our team.
To understand the needs of our customers, we must first listen to find out the extent of their understanding and what they consider important. Even those who claim to be technically challenged should never be considered inept in any way.
They can be much more clever in other ways we can’t imagine. They just need the facts explained in layman’s terms.
Studies show that the customer should be talking 68% of the time. We try not to use “I, Me, My or Mine” as they make us appear as if we’re more important. Since we all work as a team, we like to use “Us, Our and We” instead.
The best way to be sure we understand what someone is saying and show that we are listening is to repeat in our own words what they have just said.
There’s nothing worse than not being heard or spoken to in a condescending tone.
Our whole aim is to find out exactly what the problem is and then custom design a solution to not only solve the problem but provide a better solutions to improve efficiency while often reducing operating costs.
We try being interested rather than interesting.
Verbal communications is always open to interpretation so while it’s important to have a conversation to determine the needs of our customer, our next step is to put it in writing in order to have a quotation for future reference for our clients and between our technicians.
We try to resist the temptation to write in tedious detail all the ins and outs as most of our clients really aren’t interested. They just want everything to work.
At a recent meeting we had with a potential customer, we were shown a 34 page document with lots of pretty pictures and mind numbing detail. He was nonplussed. No one had bothered to talk to him to find out what his needs were.
We asked lots of questions and made various suggestions on how he could set up the foundations of his business in order to grow in the future. We took the time to listen before presenting him with 6 page document detailing everything he needed to start his new business.
After the job is done, it is then my responsibility to call in and make sure our clients are happy with the service provided. Fortunately, our technicians are really good at what they do so it’s very rare for me to encounter any issues.
We’re not perfect by any means but we do care for our clients and are very quick at admit if we’ve made a mistake and are happy to remedy the situation.