There are only two ways to beat the competition: lower your price or increase the quality and quantity of service you provide to your customers. Customers who buy from you because of a low price are not loyal and will jump ship when your competition offers them a lower price. One of the biggest reasons most salespeople fail to succeed is because they view customer service requests as unpaid, administrative burdens rather than golden opportunities. By going the extra mile, you will stand out from the crowd because most salespeople are unwilling to even go the first mile let alone the extra mile. Consumer surveys underscore the fact that customers don’t mind paying a higher price for a product if they’re satisfied with the service they receive after the sale.
Developing the habit of going the extra mile and rendering service above and beyond your customers’ expectations are smart business decisions that pay big dividends. Going the extra mile enhances customer loyalty, increases sales, and promotes positive word-of-mouth advertising within your marketplace. One happy customer who is given exceptional service can influence more prospects to do business with you than $10,000 worth of traditional advertising.
Farmers understand the value of going the extra mile when they prepare the soil and plant their seeds in the ground. All of this work must be done at the correct time of the year and without compensation of any kind. If the farmer does his job correctly, he can count on Mother Nature to reward his hard work with a hundredfold return. This natural law of increasing returns works exactly the same for salespeople who go the extra mile providing service for their customers as it does for the farmer planting his crop.
Here are some suggestions to help you get started going the extra mile:
1. Be proactive by calling five of your customers every day to see if they have any service requirements that you can help them with.
2. Follow up quickly by returning your customers’ phone calls and e-mails within an hour.
3. Show your appreciation by mailing a handwritten thank-you note to your new customers after the sale.
4. When you receive a customer service request, make it your highest priority to handle it quickly.
5. Every six months, mail your customers a business-related or motivational article to keep in contact.
6. Use your imagination and think out of the box to find new ways to improve the quality and quantity of service you provide to your customers.
7. Invite your best customers out for breakfast or lunch to build rapport and strengthen your relationship.
“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach