Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Is this what you called 'customer service'?

In any restaurant that serves chicken especially as its specialty, it is expected that every customer has the right to choose his/her favourite part of the dish. Not being fussy, we all have our preferences and when service is paid for, customers do expect their meals to be worth every single cent spent, right?
But in a Nando’s chain at IOI City Mall, as made viral on social media yesterday, one customer was labelled ‘Cibai (Pussy)’ for being picky requesting her preferred part of her poultry meal.
It was allegedly reported by various blog sites that the customer had requested for the chicken drumstick when placing an order, but was declined by the waiter.
According to a post by Oh! Media, a friend of the victim came forth and said, “A waiter named Shaqir had said due to crowd that day, he feared that they would run out of drumsticks for other customers too.
“My friend asked if she could speak to his manager, as she insisted that she did not eat chicken breast, only then the waiter gave in to serve her a drumstick,” the source added.
“After paying for their meal, her husband noticed the receipt with ‘Cibai Customer’ printed,” said the source.

Who knows what the conversations were between the customer and the waiter in this situation, but it is clear that the staff at the Nando's restaurant did not really display a ‘smart’ move with the presented black and white proof.

Think outside the box. A simple idea that solves problems.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Marketing and sales people, take note - there are always opportunities waiting out there for you.

A jobless man applied for the position of ‘office boy’ at a very big company.

The employer interviewed him, then a test: clean the floor.

“You are hired.” – the employer said. ”Give me your email address, and I’ll send you the application to fill, as well as when you will start.”

The man replied, “I don’t have a computer, neither an email.”

“I’m sorry,” said the employer, “if you don’t have an email , you cannot have the job.”

The man left with no hope. He didn’t know what to do, with only $10 USD in his pocket.

He then decided to go to the supermarket, bought a 10 kg tomato crate, then sold the tomatoes door to door. In less than two hours, he succeeded and doubled his capital. He repeated the operation 3 times and returned home with $60 USD. The man realized that he could survive by this way, and started to go everyday earlier, and returned late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled everyday. Shortly later, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles.

Five years later, the man’s company was one of the biggest food retailers. He started to plan his family’s future, and decided to have a life insurance. He called an insurance broker and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded, the broker asked him his email. The man replied: “I don’t have an email.”

The broker replied curiously, “You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Do you imagine what position you could have if you had an email?”

The man paused for a while, and replied: “An office boy!”

Don’t be discouraged if something is not in your favor today. Better opportunities are always waiting ahead.

Friday, 15 May 2015

My training assignments with OSK Properties Sdn Bhd and MB Group Bhd

Last week, was the first time I had to travel all the way up north, Sungai Petani, and from there, to the south, Johore Bahru, for my training assignments, and what a coincident that the two companies that I was attached to were involved in property development.
In Sungai Petani, the staff of OSK Properties were coached in showroom sales while in JB, the staff of MB Group was put through the pace of Brand Management.

Seated third from left is Mr Heng Aik Hwee, Executive Director of MB Land Sdn Bhd.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Seven steps to overcoming sales objections

In essence there are two combat strategies regarding objections.
The first is pre-empting them – in other words, by anticipating and responding to the objection before the prospect has even had a chance to voice it.
The second is by dealing with the objection as it arises. If you are prepared to incorporate both strategies then you’ll encounter fewer objections and be more resourceful when they do arise. It is a seven step process.

Step 1 – Remain Silent

Gives you time to think and sometimes the customer may even answer their own objection for you. Thinking is a good thing where you are adding a little pause into the proceedings, because you are demonstrating that you are taking their objection seriously.
If you jump in too early you may cause a further objection. When you interrupt them, it feels as if you are objecting to their objection. If you refuse to listen you are creating a strong possibility that you will lose rapport. Use active listening methods, nodding and physically showing interest.
Remember, they are trying to tell you something that will help you sell to them, and they will be giving you more information about how to frame and re-position your selling proposition.

Step 2 – Gather Information

As appropriate, ask some questions to fully understand the objection, for example, “Tell me more about…” or “What do you mean?” This shows you are interested in them, and it also gives you more information about their objection.
If you ask a question that begins with “Why?” they will reinforce all the reasons for their objection, making it harder for you to respond to. Therefore, use open questions of any type, except those that start with this.
As you question them, watch carefully for body language that gives you non-verbal feedback about what they are really thinking and feeling. Keep your questions light and relevant, if you respond in a commanding, forthright manner, they’ll feel insignificant and closed to voicing any further objections.

Step 3 – Check Your Understanding

This lets the customer know that you understand their objection and are taking it seriously, for example, “So what you’re saying is…” This also helps to maintain good levels of rapport and conveys that you are seeking to properly understand their situation. This step is important because communication can get distorted and you’ll want to answer their objection rather than install a new one!

Step 4 – Trial Close

This takes ‘checking your understanding’ to the next level because it flushes out any hidden objections, or the real objection behind what may have been a smokescreen. For example, “If I could satisfy you on this point will you order/buy today?” Your sensory acuity at this point should be focused on looking at their non-verbal response. If they say “yes” and their non-verbal communication conveys “no”, you should acknowledge what you’ve noticed. For example, “You don’t look sure, what else is there that we need to cover?”

Step 5 – Handle Objection

Provides the customer with another perspective that could eliminate or neutralise their objection. The best way to become excellent at this is to pre-prepare ideal responses to commonly encountered objections. An important proviso to this suggestion is that it’s critical not to distort what the customer is telling you so that their objection fits into one of your pre-prepared responses as a foundation.
Another great way to improve your competence in this specific area is by reviewing any objections after each meeting to build an objections library. Some of your responses may be more successful than others, which is why it helps to log the responses that worked well. Good product and service knowledge is particularly useful with this step as well as having a good understanding of your competitor offers.

Step 6 – Check Customer Satisfaction

You’ll notice that ‘checking’ is an ongoing theme during a consultative sales process. Used at this point, checking the prospect’s satisfaction both verbally and by assessing their non-verbal behaviour provides you with their feedback that you’ve been successful in handling the objection. For example, “Have I handled this to your satisfaction?” or “Does this make more sense now?”
If their response is a “No” then you’ll want to be flexible in your next response because if what you’ve attempted hasn’t worked, you’ll want to keep changing your response until you find a way that DOES satisfy their objection. With this particular step, your flexibility is a vital part of the process.

Step 7 – Ask for Order/Continue Discussions

This step ensures you move discussions forward, for example, “Are you ready to go ahead now?” or “Shall I go ahead and prepare the paperwork?” If your prospect says “No” then you’ve either not handled their objection to their satisfaction or they have another objection.
It’s also a valid point to remember that resistance from a prospect is usually a sign of insufficient rapport. Therefore, check that you are matching or mirroring the prospect and go back to Step 6. If they are satisfied with your handling of their objection, then ask “So, what’s preventing you from moving forward with this?”