By Joanne Gore
As someone who has lived on both sides of the sales fence, both as a consultant selling my services, and a purchaser dealing with vendors on a daily basis, it never ceases to amaze me how some companies seemingly just “don’t want the business”. And while I’m sure they would all argue this is not the case, unfortunately actions often speak louder than words.
I recently issued a request for a quote for a pretty significant piece of business. I gave detailed information, including when I expect to receive the quote. Not one vendor replied. NOT ONE! Are you shaking your head in disbelief?
We all know about low-hanging fruit. But what about the fruit that has fallen from the tree and left to rot? This, my friends, is what happens when you do the following:
- Appear desperate for business…it’s very uncomfortable and makes buyers want to avoid you like the plague
- Don’t return phone calls
- Don’t respond promptly to valid customer/prospect emails…that means within 1 business day
- Make it difficult to find your contact information on your website. This includes phone number, email and address
- Design a really cool business card that nobody can read…either because of the colour contrast or font size
- Implement a voicemail system that is so cumbersome people resort to sending you email. Oh wait…they can’t because it’s nowhere to be found on your website!
- Complain, or worse gossip, about one customer to another…it begs the question “what are you saying about us”?
- Show up late to meetings without bothering to notify your customer that you’ve been held up
a. Consistently reschedule meetings at the last minute
- Make your clients chase you down…either for answers, quotes, or job status
- Tell the client they’re wrong…even when they are.
We’re all busy. We’re all wearing many many hats. We’re all expected to do more with less. But let’s not lose sight of the basic principles of selling. Let’s remember that, without customers, we simply wouldn’t have any business.
But if you can afford to run a business without any customers, then the number one, surefire way to achieve this is: Don’t say “Thank-you”…for business, referrals, or simply for your customer’s/prospect’s valuable time.
About Joanne Gore
Joanne Gore is the Director of Marketing for Avanti (www.avantisystems.com) and has over twenty years of B2B marketing and communications experience. She graduated as a Graphic Designer and, prior to joining the corporate world, worked in the print industry as an art director, typesetter, and printing consultant. Joanne is a marketing geekette by day, a fitness instructor by night, and a mom 24-7.