Selling with a small ‘s’

My day job is all about sales, but I’ve never had ‘sales’ on a business card in my career.

Before I continue, I would like to say that I have the best sales team that I’ve ever worked with. They’re fantastic people and very good at what they do – Sell….a lot! Thanks guys and gals!

This post is not about selling in the traditional sense. What I’d like to talk about is selling with a small ‘s’ and I guess that’s all about Customer Experience – The interactions a customer has with a brand.

Whatever brand you deal with, in whatever part of your life – at home or in business. every interaction you have with it creates a positive, negative or neutral reaction.

The more positive each interaction is with a brand, it increases your propensity to buy more / stay longer with that brand (yes, and there’s much more to it than that, but bear with me). There comes a point that you are so happy with the consistently good customer experiences you have with that brand, that you actively become a proponent for that brand and become a new channel to market because you will talk about them to others. It is no coincidence that I have called my blog, Gung Ho!. Awesome book, awesome authors – and yes I’ll happily promote their books because of the experience they have given me.

How do you engender the sort of ethos into a large organisation, especially an established service organisation, that will ensure that important word of mouth selling? It’s not easy! Especially in today’s world of social networking. There are many well publicised social media disasters – American Airlines to name one, where one poor customer experience has led to the opposite outcome. Very few businesses can get things right all the time, but when things do go wrong, you have an opportunity to turn around that poor customer experience and ensure that the customer is more than satisfied when you’ve resolved the issue.

Brand – At KC we have started a journey with our people, getting them involved in evolving and changing our brand values, our ways of working and people’s mindset about the impact of a brand interaction with customers. Brand is NOT all about a logo. Our customers know that, but many of our people needed some help to get there. We took 30 or 40 of our people on a brand journey, getting them to understand what a brand meant, what it could and should stand for, how to engender behavioural change amongst others through leading by example and some straight talking. We’re at the start, with a long way to go, but customers are already starting to see a difference in our behaviours and are openly talking positively about us – That makes me feel pretty proud of what the team have achieved. We can’t be complacent and must continue to work on every touchpoint we have with our customers, large or small, to make their experience great.

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About Mark Conway
A highly motivated executive with 18 years business experience in fixed / mobile telecommunications and IT Services. A strong record of delivering sales and large-scale change programmes, improving customer experience and with a proven ability to build, lead & manage high quality teams; offering strong relationship building, commercial & decision making skills, gained working in technology and telecommunications for KC, KCOM & O2 in the UK, and with BT Wholesale, IBM, Accenture, Microsoft, Deloitte, SAP and Cisco in partnership. My Blogs: Think Oak! - http://www.oakconsult.co.uk/blog Life Spirit - http://www.lifespirit.biz

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