I write this in a frustrated tone after having spent the weekend moving into my new house in London. Without getting into the details, as with many London renters, we were promised the world but have been left severely underwhelmed: broken doors, dirty, broken appliances etc.
This is not the forum for whining about housing problems, but it did make me think about my own role (as a salesperson) to deliver upon the promises made during a sales process.
As was commented upon by our founder during a conversation yesterday, Sales is an irrationally emotional occupation. Selling someone something of significant value usually entails an emotional purchase, as well as a rational one.
Accordingly, when the outcome is different to the emotions and expectation we had built up, then things go wrong.
How then could my estate agents have voided such a chaotic customer experience and what does a good post-sales process look like?
- Signposting / Mapping out what happens next: A repeatable process inspires confidence as it tells your customer that they are going through a tried & trusted process. Map it out, depict it graphically and show them the journey they will go on.
- The handover & relevant intros: The bigger an organisation gets, the greater the level of specialisation of roles. If you have multiple specialists dealing with one client then introduce them, explain their different roles to the client and why they are involved. This is introducing the person who is going to deliver the promises made during the sales process.
- Set expectations/measurements of success: Understand what 'good' looks like for both parties and commit resources on both sides to achieve those goals.
- Agree on a project roadmap: You know where you want to go, now set the mini-goals for getting there.
- Act like you care: our particular tenancy manager couldn't care less, as we are not a priority for the next 11 months. This comes across in his communications. Something will go wrong at some point in any business relationship, it's how you respond to those road bumps which defines the strength and success of your future partnership. Set expectations and clear responsibilities i.e. we will respond to every email within 48 hours. If urgent, text my mobile, etc.
- Review: Priorities change over time. Set a quarterly or bi-annual to reassess progress to-date and look at what's coming up.