Sales System or Customer Experience?

After living in our beautiful house for over ten years, we finally decided to upgrade our balcony by installing a foldout awning.

So, we did a little bit of research on Google and also via a local Facebook networking group.

The short list were 6 companies.
I then went onto each of their websites and posted a request for a quote.
And now the whole experience became very interesting.

I was expecting to receive a phone call thanking me for the enquiry and maybe ask a couple of questions to narrow down whether it would be a good fit. One of the companies even requested on their online form to acknowledge that a foldout awning would only start from a certain price point.

Here’s what happened.

Company A did not respond at all, so that I called them to see whether they’ve even received my enquiry. They had – and we agreed on the subsequent visit of a sales-person the following week. Of course I’ve asked my wife to be present, because in the end it will be a design decision. The sales person arrived on time, and it turned out that he had no product knowledge, had no samples in his car “oh, my car is in inspection and the samples are there…” and he didn’t induce any confidence in himself, nor his products. The visit for him was totally worthless, because the info he gleamed he could have easily gotten from a phone call. “I will send you an email and answer your questions then” was his parting comment. Needless to say, that no email or follow up phone call ever came.

Company B also did not bother to call and ask any questions. Instead they’ve sent an email with a quote plus an esign email to confirm their quote by signing and transferring a deposit. The quote was signed off by the Your Suburb Rep. The email I’ve sent back was never answered – instead I got a reminder that the quote was about to expire and again the request to pay now. We did not proceed. The email in which I declined their offer has not been answered either.

Company C did respond with a two line email and asked for picture of the balcony, which I happily provided. They then send me a quote – again without even speaking to me. Their quote was 50% higher than any other price indication I had seen. It said: “Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you are interested in making a site appointment to formalise the above.“ My friendly decline went unanswered.

Company D did not respond to my online enquiry at all. Maybe they did not even receive it, because the form they have on the internet required me to tick a box for blinds – as the box for awning was not registering as sufficient. What’s your sales system?

Company E called me and instead of a voice mail sent a text message. Eventually we got together on the phone. The conversation went nowhere, because they were not able to provide me with the specifics we were after. At least they made an effort to understand and provide.

Company F – well I left the best to last. They sent me a friendly email – offering that the owner would come around for an inspection where we could ask all the questions. He came on time and completely different to our experience with the first one (see company A) he was knowledgeable, interested and made the whole experience a fun and inspiring one. He even challenged us on our pre-conceived ideas, so that we spent more money than originally planned. Needless to say, that he had his sample book at hand and we pretty much signed off on design and delivery right then and there. A big plus is that his awnings are manufactured in Australia. Brilliant.

Do you have a sales-system in place that picks up an online enquiry and makes the buying experience a smooth and enjoyable one?
Or does your system completely depend on the flexibility and motivation of your reps?

And remember, it is not about Sales or a System for Sales – it is all about the Experience you create for your customers. In the six case studies above, where would you like to be?

In my business I am focusing on the system side and building better systems for my clients since 1985. And when you have the right and functioning systems in place you can focus on the customer experience because your bases are covered.

If you are interested: Happy to provide you with the name of the Company F  – they specialise in Shutters, Shades or Awnings for your home. 🙂

“Jürgen brings German precision and design to all of his solutions, and you can have confidence that the solution he develops is accurate and commercially robust. He has excellent communication skills and can work easily with you and your team.”
Ron Wood, Founder and Director of Pricing Insight
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