Blogs & Comment

Now is the perfect time to lose a sale

Your company is desperate for customers. Every dollar counts. Jobs are on the line. Yet now could be the best opportunity to lose a sale. That’s one thing I picked up from Roy Osing, the former chief marketing officer for Telus and author of the new book, BE DIFFERENT or be dead. He says trust between a salesperson and a client is everything. When salespeople tell customers their latest product doesn’t meet their needs, advise them not to buy and recommend a competitor’s item, the relationship strengthens. “Everybody flogs products. The point is you’re trying to be different,” Osing says.
But making salespeople care more about relationships than revenues requires a compensation scheme that supports this behaviour. Osing recommends companies ask customers to rate their salespeople on a handful of factors, such as problem solving and service, on a scale from 1 to 5. Those results should have a significant impact on pay. “The first time sales reps get their customer report cards, they go into their cave. They’re hurt. They’re mad. The good news is they know where they are and they start to listen now to what the customer is saying. Over time they work harder to get better marks,” he says.
Osing says sales reps at Telus were compensated 50% on customer perception and 50% on revenues. Reps with high marks were also the ones with the most sales.