When Does a Sale Begin? When Does it End?
A sale is not a sale until the check clears. We often seem to forget that and think it ends when we have left the client's office with the order in our hand. Actually, that might be when the sale really begins.
My wife and I were nearing the end of our apartment lease and had been shopping for a great deal on a house. We visited a few homes each with different realtors. None of them had great follow-up and none of them were proactive about inquiring about what type of home, location and price would best serve our needs. We finally were shown a home by a guy who immediately followed up with a thank you and a list of other homes that were similar to the one we had visited. We decided he was the guy we would like to work with and found him listening and responding-right up until we signed a buyer's agent agreement with him and made an offer on a home. Suddenly the phone calls and emails weren't returned as quickly. We got the impression that he was afraid of something going wrong. Simple requests seemed to frighten him. His new attitude frightened us.
A lot of salespeople forget that the sale is not a sale until it is complete, paid and everyone is satisfied. Of course, when using the term "sale" I'm speaking very transaction oriented. A sale is a relationship. A relationship requires communication, positive emotions and transparency.
Here's the deal. For many of your customers, a $600.00 order is a big deal. They think about it when you leave their office. They want to know that everything is on track. When their boss asks them about it, they would like to proudly tell her that you had just checked in this morning or yesterday afternoon to tell them that everything is on schedule.
Checking in to give an update of no news can be good news. It is a way for you to change a transaction into a relationship. It tells your client that their business is on your mind too and that you value their order and their relationship. You're showing them that you care and understand the importance of even the seemingly smallest order.
The sale starts when you care enough to learn about what your customer needs. The sale continues until the relationship ends. What you do matters. How you make them feel matters most.