Do Good 'Consultants' Do Differently?

DO GOOD ‘CONSULTANTS’ DO DIFFERENTLY?

A Good trainer teaches the salespeople to deliver good results. In every company, a small group of salespeople almost always provide good results. In this case, there are certain traits that they all share.

They do not attempt to sell to customers. They believe in building strong emotional relationships with them. They achieve this by not selling products or services to their customers but providing them with a piece of mind and comfort.

They believe that they are not salespeople but consultants, and their job helps their customers achieve their business goals. Should things go wrong, the customers are confident that the consultant will not desert them but will be by their side to help them overcome the adversity.

Does it sound surreal? Can a company sell ‘comfort’? Take Progressive Corporation, for instance. It is a provider of car insurance in America. ‘Progressive does not sell car insurance.

Good trainer

It sells comfort: the comfort of knowing that if you have an accident, they will be at the scene, ready to write a check’, explains Harry Beckwith in his book What Clients Lovell, and goes on to say great salespersons do not sell products or services but satisfaction.

Zappos

Can a good strategy be extended to e-commerce companies if a good consultant inhabits it?

Take Zappos, an e-commerce company that is a part of Amazon. The company’s mission is to provide the best customer service possible. In pursuit of this mission, it has embraced concepts that would seem counter-intuitive. Employees act as consultants to customers.

They are not given any standard script to pitch to the customers but are encouraged to be themselves to sound genuine. And they are free to spend as much time as required to help customers make the right choice.

They are advised not to cross-sell or upsell merely to increase the value of the sale. They are there only to recommend what is in the interests of the customers.

The downside of following this strategy: they have a returns rate of 37 percent,7 when the average returns rate for an e-tailer is in the region of 18—20 percent and single-digit for B&C and mom-and-pop stores. This has the power to burn a hole in the company’s profits.

Zappos

Zappos is not fazed because it believes the high cost it incurs in ‘returns’ is an investment in ensuring that each of its customers becomes its customer for life. Over the lifetime of the relationship, Zappos will monetize its investment. What has Zappos subtly done?

It has put the reciprocity and likability principles into play, and in the process, earned the trust and loyalty of its customers. No wonder repeat purchase at Zappos is over 75 percent: for every 100 customers, seventy-five return to Zappos with repeat business.

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