Lately I've been in the market for a new car - my current one can't really fit my 30-kg dog anymore, so...
I've been doing some looking around, visiting car dealerships, inquiring about models, boot sizes etc.
Why am I telling you this, you ask?
I was appalled by the approach of most sellers - seriously, some of them made me change my mind about buying a shiny new car, which is exactly the opposite of what a seller should aim for.
You HAVE to be kidding me - I thought to myself - if I worked like them, I would have been out of business for quite some time.
And thus came the inspiration for this post. Here's a handful of don'ts for sellers, even if you sell services instead of actual products - courtesy of the best (and the worst) car dealerships on the block:
1 - Treating your customer poorly/like you're doing them a favor:
Yes, I know you get a lot of inquiries and people that are probably just wasting your time, but if you don't treat everyone who walks in the door (actual or metaphoric) like buying clients, you will end up losing them.
2 - Not being passionate about what you're selling:
If you don't believe in your product, why should I? At least you get paid to do so.
3 - Not following basic e-mail etiquette:
Of course you're answering my corteous inquiry with a cookie-cutter, pre-written auto-responder - it's not like I signed my email with my name or I asked a specific question. Go ahead and keep sending me one-line emails with attachments whose meaning I can't fathom for the life of me, I so appreciate it.
I do send my fair share of "Please find attached" emails without attachment, but this is another level of email rudeness, probably on the same level of those dreaded "To whom it may concern" messages...
4 - Not having a clear offer:
If you can't communicate your offer in a clear way or you are not even sure what you're selling, your customers will probably go somewhere else, to someone with a little more confidence and knowledge of their product.
5 - Purposely having a vague offer AND trying to throw off your clients with super-specific jargon:
WOW, that's a lot of optionals, this car must be SO well-equipped! ...and then, after sifting through endless lists of mysterious acronyms, you find out it has, well, a wheel, electric power windows (that's SO futuristic!) and possibly an engine somewhere.
The same goes for us, who sell services instead of cars: don't intimidate your client with industry jargon they don't know - speak the language they speak. Don't tell them about the features of the latest cutting-edge software you subscribed for, just tell them about the results. That's what they are interested in, after all.
So, back to us... Do you have other pet peeves when you find yourself on the other side of the barricade?
Being buyers might just make us better sellers :-)