09/10/10

By Claire West

As National Customer Service Week comes to a close and with retailers fearing a rocky January trading period, businesses are being urged to review their after sales service after it was revealed that many of the staff responsible for influencing subsequent sales don't have the skills necessary to successfully bring in the business.

Take a moment to think about the people you interact with at a company once you have bought from them. Very rarely do you maintain relationships with the initial person who sold you the product or service in the first place.

In most cases, once the deal is closed, the account is usually handed over the customer care team or for those buying a service such as cleaning, to the front of house staff. This may seem like a logical process but is one which often leads businesses into troubled waters, warns leading sales expert Andy Preston.

"Increasingly, I am seeing that traditional sales methods and responsibilities are being put into the hands of people who haven't been trained in sales techniques, such as marketing, admin or some aspects of customer care. Often these people end up stumbling into sales as part of a different role and this could mean that vital opportunities for up-selling, cross-selling and repeat purchases could be jeopardised if the customer is not happy with the ongoing service they receive," explains Preston.
Preston believes that the biggest cause of dissatisfaction after the initial sale is that the level of service they receive after is radically different to what they received from the trained and experienced salesperson. The result is that the customer has elevated expectations of how they feel they should be treated afterwards.

"Very rarely do customers get the level of after sales service they anticipated and when expectations aren't met, they are very quick to search for alternative providers. If you happen to be in a highly competitive market then this could leave the business very vulnerable," warns Preston.
Preston advises that businesses should look to a integrated training across the sales, customer care and front of house functions, so that all staff in these roles understand the principles of good selling and understand how to interact with the customer to ensure they remain loyal and continue to buy in the future.

"Stand Out Selling is all about understanding what it is that makes you different from your competition. The market is tough at the moment and so showing why a customer should buy from you and continue to buy from you has never been more critical. It seems crazy that businesses pay through the roof to secure a good salesperson to bring in the business, yet don't think about whether the delivery driver, shop assistant or cleaner equally understands the role they play in influencing future sales," adds Preston.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

Andy Preston is MD of highly acclaimed sales performance training company Outstanding Results. He works with individuals or companies (and their sales teams) to help them make more appointments, get more clients, negotiate higher fees, make more cold calls, become more motivated and achieve their targets every month.

Andy has over 12 years of senior-level experience within the sales industry and so is also able to offer businesses advice on how to avoid getting in a rut, handle rejection, defend their prices better, overcome client objections, avoid procrastination and getting out of dreaded sales slumps.

For more information see www.andy-preston.com or http://www.mediacv.co.uk/index.php?Business_Experts:Andy_Preston