How motivated are your people to wow your customer whether you’re there or not?
Not sure? Here’s some advice …
My friend and co Author of ‘Slow Selling’, Brendan, recently sent me a link about a TV report on his new business, Coniston Stonecrafts. It told the story of how he bought the business from receivership just a few weeks before the first lockdown, and how they’d had to adapt in order to survive.
And survive they did.
Indeed, they’re now doing so much business, the real problem is struggling to manufacture items quick enough.
So, I called him and asked him to do chat about what had happened for the Slow Selling Podcast.
You can listen to the full episode here, but for now, here are a few of the gems he shared:
- I live my life according to the principles of ‘Slow Selling’, not only doing the right thing for the customer, but also for the environment: we’re completely water powered, we have minimal waste, as we craft it into other items, and all the cardboard packaging we use is directly recycled from a local firm down the road!
- The old way of selling in this business was always chasing sales … the new way we’re operating is by forming partnerships with other businesses, based on trust and focused on helping them sell more effectively: for example, we look at their product stocking policy and make suggestions of what else they could stock that would complement their offer and induce their customers to buy more.
- We work with our partners for as long as it takes until they’re happy with what we’re making for them: this then makes for great long-term relationships and lots of sales (for both of us).
- We never have a problem with price: there’s just one price: we work hard and fast and we charge fairly. If we make bespoke items for our partners, we just say about the price: ‘You’ll just have to trust us … it’ll be right’ and they do!
- We sell direct to the public from our website (and our shop on the side of a mountain), and we now sell more in a day than the business used to sell in month! We find that because we’re genuine, chatty (we reply to every comment made about us), and eager to please, people start talking about us and sharing pictures with and about us, and it just takes on a life of its own.
- All of this means that we’re not constantly running and chasing: we’re simply strolling from place to place, making people’s lives happy around us, and making our lives happy … and profitable … too!
I do hope you take the time to listen to the conversation: Brendan is very entertaining as a talker, with a broad Cumbrian accent, and there’s so much value in what he says.
One more thing: I asked him how he managed to get his team enthused and continually raising their game to wow the customer … whether he’s there or not, and the answer he gave was world class.
Firstly he said: ‘Well, they know that business can be a struggle and they don’t want to go through that again, so that helps’.
But the key thing he said was: ‘I always say to them: ‘It’s not about getting the sale … it’s about getting the 3rd sale: we want them to be delighted with what they’ve bought, so they come back and buy again … then we want them to be as delighted a 2nd time, so they want to buy again and again’’.
It sounds so simple doesn’t it?
So, remember my question at the start of this article: How motivated are your people to wow your customer whether you’re there or not?
It seems to me that Brendan has answered this question really clearly:
- Have a simple phrase that makes real sense to everyone: For example: ‘It’s not about getting the sale … it’s about getting the 3rd sale’.
- Live it yourself every day through all you say and do.
- Keep repeating and repeating it: it’s easy to forget what’s genuinely important in the toing and froing of everyday life.
- Find a way of measuring it and holding people accountable: what gets measured gets done …
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