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flipIn my recent blog post “Ditch the Pitch,” I talked about eliminating the prescribed sales script in favor of critical thinking. Not every sales situation can be addressed with a script. Sales associates who can think quickly on their feet will be able to handle unexpected obstacles with grace and elegance, solve problems quickly, and provide a richer customer experience.

With that in mind, I just finished reading an HBR blog post by Joe Panepinto where he says:

Too many companies are still trying to create thick manuals that lay out every possible scenario and a corresponding brand-appropriate response — an “if they do this, you do that” kind of approach. Very reactive.

I’d like to share Joe’s technique to help salespeople deliver a consistent customer experience across a variety of interactions and diversity of backgrounds—start from the end. Think about what you want customers to say after they walk away?

 What do you want them to say after they walk away?

This simple, but powerful question encourages accountability, critical thinking, and flexibility. It will also help create a unique, personal brand experience for each customer. Read Joe’s post for more examples as to how this works: “Tell Your Team What Customers Should Say About Them.”