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How bad do you want the sale? Actions speak louder than words !

April 11, 2016

I wanted to share a quick story which will help illustrate a very good sales practice, one that only takes a few moments.  My son has his own landscaping business and was in need of some marketing flyers.   We created the ad, made it press ready so the only thing that needed to be done was to get some quotes, select a printer and email it over.

We picked three local printers in our area and I called them, offered to email them the file, gave them all the specs and made sure that they had enough info to provide a price quote and time service expectation.  I won’t mention any companies names here but these are the top three printers in my town.  We were looking to get 10,000 flyers full color front and back printed.

I realize that to some, we may not have been the volume customer that they were looking for.  One company had an estimate to me by the end of the day.  I had a few questions for clarification but pretty good execution on a phone quote.   The next company came through with a quote late the next day so while they promised it the same day, they were only off by a little.   I was most impressed by the sales person at the third company.  She had the best phone etiquette of any of them, I would have expected her quote first.   This person was thorough, very polite and provided me with great information.    Instead, 3 days later, I called to ask if she would be providing any quote.   I did finally receive a quote 4 days after the initial call.

What did we do?  Obviously we are a small business and we want to spend money cautiously.  We didn’t pick the cheapest quote, but we did go with the company that responded the same day and was the first back to us.  That to me showed me that they wanted my business and could deliver on their end.   As for the others, I would have loved to have talked with them about their quote – but their lack of follow-up to me showed me that they could care or less and that I was just another number.  If they treat a quote like that – how do they handle their business?  Would I get my flyers done promptly and without hassle?

The moral of the story is three fold:  

First, be prompt when you are trying to obtain new customers.  All of them said they would have the quote back to me the same day – only one company hit it.  I always have heard people say under promise and over deliver.   Don’t promise if you cant hold yourself to it.

Second,  follow up on your quotes!  When you can’t pick up the phone and call me to say this is so and so from the local printing company, I am checking in with you to see if you received our quote and if you have any questions.   That to me shows that you want my business.  If you don’t call you don’t care.

Third, if you are managing sales people – shouldn’t you be reviewing their sales practices?  I mean these are people that you are paying to sell your products and services?  Do you care if they don’t care enough to follow up?  Make sure your sales goals line up with your sales peoples goals.

Hope that you are making the most of your sales practices and that your sales force is being diligent at quotes and follow ups.

Happy Selling!

P.S.  A shout out to Skladany Printing in Westerville for the great job!



Filed in: Execution

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