Did you take a special vacation this summer? Many people I know went to Europe. Our big trip was a 3,000 mile drive hauling our RV trailer to NY.
We’ve converted our 4 kids into road warriors. They no longer ask are we there yet — but they do ask for tons of snacks!
On our way back from NY, we booked a stay at a vacation resort in the mountains of Virginia. As a marketer, I find myself constantly analyzing my own buyer journeys, so I was looking forward to experiencing the trip as a potential customer.
Any business owner knows that delivering great marketing, sales and customer service never ends. The company that sold us the package did an amazing job with their marketing and customer service. However, when it came to their sales approach, it was the opposite. I’ll share a few of the many problems that led us not to buy.
If you’re asking your guests to show up at 8am the day after they arrived to watch a presentation and then sit with the sales person, it would be helpful to offer fresh coffee and snacks. We ended up being at their sales center for nearly 3 hours. In addition, the presenter offered one personality, the sales person another and the sales manager another. As they say, too many cooks in the kitchen never ends well.
Sales Tip #1
If you’re selling a high ticket item, always-always provide fresh drinks and snacks. In my company we even do this for clients when we have meetings at their offices. I’ve been told many times that the food was one of the things that made us memorable. To your prospect or customer, this simple gesture comes across as caring.
In the timeshare industry it’s hard to discern between features and benefits. And frankly, sometimes you just want to buy something for the joy of it rather than the ROI. The presenters kept hammering on the point about how this was an investment, sort of a one-size fits all. At several points throughout our meeting with the sales person she called over her boss, who was clearly not interested in our needs. He didn’t try to determine which features of the packages would work for our family, but instead focused the financial aspect. Furthermore, you know they don’t care when they’re not asking the most important questions and listening to the answers, but rather asking us close-ended questions. When you do this, you put your prospect in a box with no choice but to respond openly and honestly. This is a tired and old sales tactic!
Sales Tip #2
Be clear on the benefits of your product and service. These are different than the features. Do you know your UVP (unique value proposition) or USP (unique selling proposition)? If you’re not clear, ask your customers! When you’re selling, make sure you ask your sales team to have an honest conversation about the prospect’s needs first. Believe me, in the long run you’ll close more deals when you show people you care.
Needless to say, we had an amazing time at this resort and got to explore places like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the Shenandoah Mountains. And the sales pitch reiterated what I already know — great marketing followed by poor sales approach will not convert prospects into customers. If you’re not happy with your close rate, then it’s time to redesign your sales approach.
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