I recently attended a Vistage presentation given by John R. Patterson entitled, “Creating An Extraordinary Customer Experience that drives Loyalty and Growth.” Patterson artfully related how the best brands recognize that great customer experience drives greater profits.
I had two meaningful AH-HAH moments that I want to share and relate to our jobs in sales.Back to School....
AH-HAH (1)  – Patterson described how customers want and I must deliver on the following:

  1. Make them smarter
  2. Respect their time
  3. Help them customize the experience
  4. Entertain them (through your offerings)
  5. Anticipate their needs
  6. Treat them with respect
  7. Never take your customers for granted
  8. Link your customers to your professional team or partners

AH-HAH (2) – Patterson relayed that customers expect you to:

  1. Understand them
  2. Include them
  3. Protect them
  4. Surprise them
  5. Teach them

And do it consistently.
Now, substitute the word “prospect” for “customer” and go down both lists asking yourself  –

  • Am I delivering and exceeding expectations in all of my sales cycles?
  • Are my prospects enjoying going through their buying process? Or,
  • Does it seem like they are merely going through the motions?
  • Am I just going through the motions?
  • Are they smarter because of me?
  • Do they feel they are collaborating with me on a solution?
  • Do I feel they respect me as an equal?

Your answers should lead to a much better experience… for everyone.
.wired-and-dangerous You can buy John R. Patterson’s customer experience book, Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to Do About It here.

SalesReformSchool Food for Thought

One way to make your customers smarter is for you to get smarter. When I was in my 20s and starting out in sales, I realized that my history and law degrees did not equip me nearly enough to ensure a great prospect experience. So, I started a lifelong habit. I try to read the Wall Street Journal everyday. From the start, it was uncanny how I’d be in conversation with a prospect and something would remind me of an article I had read.  I continue to get smarter about business and to enrich my interactions. I highly recommend this daily habit.
And here’s a company that has embedded learning into its culture.

SalesReformSchool Extracurricular

My wife and two daughters often shake their heads at my son and my sartorial skills. I’ve recently ended a few disagreements with this awesome chart.
That’s all for today.
Good Selling!
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Through SalesReformSchool, I am available to you for Sales Process Design, Sales Messaging Creation, On-boarding/In-boarding Sales Team Workshops, Keynote Addresses, Facilitation, Group or One-on-One Coaching, Pipeline Reviews and other Sales Management Consulting.