Sunday, January 17, 2010

Feedback an essential element in business

In many types of business, and especially major accounts selling, the sale is never actually finally concluded - that is to say, the relationship and support continues, and largely customers appreciate and need this enormously. Good sales people build entire careers on this principle.

Arranging regular reviews are vital for all service-type arrangements. Customers become disillusioned very quickly when sales people and selling organizations ceased to be interested, communicative and proactive after the sale is concluded or the contract has been set up.

Even for one-off outright sale transactions, with no ongoing service element, it's essential for the sales person to stay in touch with the customer, or future opportunities will be hard to identify, and the customer will likely go elsewhere.

These days, most business is on-going, so it needs looking after and protecting. Problems need to be anticipated and prevented. Opportunities to amend, refine, develop and improve the supply arrangement need to be reviewed and acted upon. This must always ultimately be the sales person's responsibility - and it should have been part of the original product offer after all. Even if a whole team of customer service people are responsible for after sales implementation and customer care, the sales person must keep a strategic 'weather eye' on the situation - not to manage day to day issues, but to ensure that the supply arrangement and relationship remain high quality, better than the potential competition and relevant to the customer's needs.