The most dangerous part of the sales process is AFTER a sale has occurred, not before.
It is the ‘post sale’ where the relationship can be most vulnerable. The ‘danger’ occurs after all the hard works and effort and after your client has said “yes.” Up to this time, the sales rep has courted the buyer: communicated with them, wooed them with attention and made them feel good and special about entire selling process. Everyone is happy.
Many sales reps see their job as complete at this point. They pass the ball off to someone else – shipping, accounting …whoever. It’s not. After the sale has been made, at some level – conscious or subconscious – the buyer expects some sort of acknowledgement from the seller. Maybe it’s a telephone call with a word of thanks or perhaps it’s a thank you card or possibly a gracious e-mail; something, anything. It doesn’t take much.
I was reminded of this not long ago when we sold some property. It took some time and effort; the negotiations were complex but the place finally sold. The agent did his job – no question about it- and he got a nice chunk of change for his effort (which I don’t begrudge in the least). However, what I did begrudge was the post-sale silent treatment. We did not hear a single, solitary word from the agent. Not a card, not a letter, not an e-mail and not a call. Nothing. Nadda. Zippo. He literally took the money and ran… or at least, that’s how it felt.
Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold
While it was a bit of disappointment for me, it’s a real shame for him. He burned a bridge. Perhaps he thought this was the only sale he would ever get from us so grabbed his commission check and took off. But here’s what it will cost him:
-we have some more property to sell … he won’t get the deal, another sale and the commission…
-we have referrals we can give … he won’t get those either…
-we certainly won’t act as a reference … should he ask …
-we could certainly tell others of the experience … like I am doing now
It doesn’t matter if you’re in B2C or B2B marketplace, acknowledge your client when you make a sale. Big or small, provide them with thanks. It’s a right thing do. Not only is it common courtesy, it impacts the relationship