Yesterday I was in a local UPS Store getting information about their box services. The manager I met with was a young guy, but really on the ball. Polite. Courteous. Informative. Didn’t give me a hard sell. I wasn’t ready to commit right then and there but told him I’d call back. He copied my required info.
Today I call back and ask for that manager. He wasn’t there because he was in school. (That’s fine). So I tell the clerk who answered that he already took my info and that I’m ready to buy. She told me that she doesn’t know where he put my info because he always hides his stuff. (Huh?) She said that I should call back tomorrow. All I could say was “Uhhhh….okay?”
I have half a mind not to call back because my confidence in this particular outlet is drastically diminished. There’s another outlet in a better zip code anyway that I may call to get info on.
Can you tell me what went wrong? It’s simple. There was no system in place for everyone in that store to pick up where some other employee may have left off. A database. A file system. Heck, even a plastic inbox that says “Potential customers.” Furthermore, once she realized she didn’t have access to the info the manager took yesterday, she didn’t even bother to continue with the sale to do what she could. There was absolutely no drive or motivation on her part to close this deal. (I could tell she was pretty young too). What can we learn from this?
- Have a solid leads tracking system: everyone in your establishment should have the ability to take a lead, track a lead, or pick up where another person in your company left off. Programs like ShootQ and Highrise are CRM (contact relationship management) programs designed for just this sort of thing.
- Enlist personnel invested in your company’s success: you have to have people on your team who are invested in your company’s success. Create some sore of incentive system. Or pay them well. Granted you can’t necessarily expect them to be as motivated as you may be as the business owner, but you don’t want to have some high school or college kid that is totally checked out and could care less.
- Empower you people: in today’s economy, you can’t afford to miss a sale when someone is telling you they want to give you money. Put systems in place that allow your people to make judgment calls that can help close the deal. Zappos has a great philosophy on this. Each employee is allowed to make a business decision up to a certain amount of money, no questions asked.
This girl I talked to could have at least taken my credit card info, assigned me a box, and done everything else required if she needed to. But she was either unmotivated and/or not empowered to do so.
I speak from experience here. There have been so many times when I have screwed up because my stuff wasn’t in order. Either I didn’t have the right system in place, or I did but wasn’t using it. So, I’m not by any means being all high and mighty when I comment about this UPS outlet. I screw up too. And because I am not perfect, I’ll probably give this outlet a second chance. But there are many people who are not as nice as me.
Do you have systems in place to make sure you can close every potential sale? Or are you betting on people as nice as me calling you? Do you want to take that chance?