Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Social Media, Customer Service and the New Salesperson

Social Media, Customer Service and the New Salesperson

I attended a webinar today that focused on, you guessed it, sales! We talked about identifying prospects, working with new customers and how social media has changed the way we sell.

80% of global consumers research
products online before buying in stores.
Think about it. Say you want to buy a brand new 50 inch TV for above your fireplace (recommendations welcome!). It's not very likely that you'll drive from store to store looking for TV's. First, you'll visit Facebook; ask your friends for their help. You'll do a search using Google or Bing to do some research on specials, coupons, brands and customer reviews. THEN you'll head to the local stores to see what they have in stock.

Back in the day, salespeople played a different role in the buying process than they do now, and in return they are looked at differently. Many times, especially in smaller transactional type sales, salespeople are now seen as the final step in the transaction practice rather than the very first.

Salespeople are the confirmation buyers need that they are making the right purchase.

Sure, we'll chat online with a representative or ask the salesperson for help, but now salespeople have to focus more on customer service than simply product information.
Image credit: Steve Patrizi,
Head of Parner Marketing at Pinterest

And here's why.

The customer has most likely done their research prior to engaging with the salesperson. The customer knows what they want. They'll walk into a store to look at the TV's in person and finalize the details, but they have a few products specifically in mind.

While years past, the customers’ questions may have been:
  • What kind of TV would you recommend? 
  • What kind of promotions are you currently running? 
  • What's the difference between X and Y? 
The customers are now asking:
  • Will you honor the 20% off coupon I found online 
  • Do I need a new HD cable or can I use my old one? 
  • I saw your competitor has this TV for less. Do you price match? 
New Salesperson's Role in Customer Service

When customers are finally ready to engage with a salesperson they are armed with:
  1. Information - They know about your product and pricing. They may even know who you are after checking your LinkedIn profile. 
  2. Opinions - They may have been referred to your company by friends or have read reviews on the products or services.
  3. Your competitors' information - They know where they can find the same product elsewhere and they may have already talked to them. 
This changes everything. Now it's all about customer service. The new salesperson knows that their customers may already be further along in the sales process when they contact them, and they are prepared.

Customer service affects everything we do. If you and a competitor are providing the same product at the same price, how you handle your potential customers may be the only thing that gets you the sale or gets in the way of a sale.

So, How Do We Deal?

Sales is not only about being able to think on your feet, but it is also about being flexible and accommodating to your customers' needs. The Everything DiSC® for Sales profile is just what you need in order to:
  1. Understand your selling style
  2. Quickly identify the buying styles of customers 
  3. Adapt your selling style to meet their needs 
Because of social media, the new salesperson needs to be able to jump into the sales process halfway through, and again, make a first impression after the customer may have already developed one for them.

Everything DiSC for Sales is ideal for any sales team looking to make long lasting relationships with potential and current customers. Each Everything DiSC for Sales online profile comes with unlimited, complimentary Customer Interaction Maps that will help the sales team develop quick, effective guides to working with customers in just a few minutes. Perfect for before conference calls, webinars or while they are on hold waiting to speak to someone.

The goal here is being able to make connections with potential customers and prove them right (or wrong) about your products and services!

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