by Marty Nolan (@TravelingSlsman)
My favorite sales book is “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless – Customer Loyalty is Priceless” by Jeffrey Gitomer. The subtitle reads, “How to make customers love you, keep them coming back and tell everyone they know”.
I’ve given this book to a dozen people. I know one of these people read it and then bought the book for his entire department. I’m not sure if Jeffrey Gitomer is as well known as Zig Ziglar or Tom Hopkins but I’d rate his book among the best. According to Gitomer, Satisfaction is no longer the acceptable standard of customer service. His book says, “Just because they’re satisfied doesn’t mean they’re loyal. Satisfied customers will buy from anyone.” His book proceeds to give countless examples of how you can offer exceptional customer service that helps you to build loyalty with your customers. There is a lot of comedy throughout the book and it is an easy read. I don’t want to share too much of the book here but I’ll share a couple parts I found enlightening or entertaining.
Gitomer has a list of forbidden phrases – lines that send the wrong message to a customer and usually add fire to any argument:
- It’s our policy
- What seems to be the problem
- You should have done…
- Let me transfer you to someone who handles that
He suggests you give responses the “Grandma Test”. If it sounds like something you wouldn’t want to say to your Grandma, then don’t say it to your customer.
- Sorry, we’re closed, Grandma
- What is this in reference to Grandma?
- It’s our policy Grandma
Gitomer kind of has a disdain for the word “policy”. He writes, “Do you like when someone gives you ‘the policy’? Kind of sounds like ‘the finger”. “It’s our policy…to piss off everyone”. What if customer service policies read like this: “Hey, you’re in luck! – I just looked it up in the policy book and it says right here I can do everything you want, just the way you want it”. In general, policy is written to tell you what you can’t do.
Anyways, you get the picture. I like his book. A lot. So, I’m involved in a few fastener associations and from time to time I am involved in trying to set ups speakers or events for these associations. So, while sipping some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee last Sunday morning, I went to Gitomer’s website and filled out a “speaker request” form to see how I might be able to get Mr. Gitomer to speak at a fastener event. I mean the Fastener Training Institute is offering all kinds of technical fastener training. I’m in sales, and I’d like to see more sales training offered. I filled out the form, included my cell number and within a half hour I got a call — “This is Jeffrey….Jeffrey Gitomer”.
Needless to say, I was caught a bit off guard. But I pulled it together, gathered my thoughts and explained how I was involved in an association that might like to hire him as a speaker. He asked, “What industry?” I proudly announced, “the fastener industry”, and then waited expectantly for him to ask me what was the fastener industry. Instead I got, “My dad made cabinets and as a young man I installed a lot of screw into cabinetry. Yeah, and I gave a presentation to Fastenal a while back”. Damn, Fastenal beat me to the punch.
I’d like to hear Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales presentation. I’d like the rest of the fastener industry to hear Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales presentation. How about this. Go pick up his book, read it over. If you’re in sales or are a sales manager, I think you’ll like it. And if you like what you’ve read get in touch with me so we can gather some resources and have him come to a fastener association gathering or trade show somewhere in the near future. One fastener company has already done that.