You Are The Company

Perception is reality, she said confidently, learn to use it to your advantage because it’s being used on you all the time.”

“But I just answer the phone here, what does it have to do with me?” I thought.

She continued. “We all use our senses constantly to get information about people, the environment and situations. How you are perceived becomes reality to the person receiving the information both about you and your companyTo them, you are the company, for better or worse.”

It’s a pleasure to deal with someone who knows how to use a phone expertly and maddening when they don’t. And when used for sales, people mostly misuse and abuse one of their most valuable selling tools.

When you are on the phone, what is sensed about you by your words, inflections, tone of voice, enthusiasm, interest or (the lack of) all add up to the listener developing a feeling about you and your company. This can be to your advantage or become a serious liability if used inexpertly.

Basically you have only one sense perception that you’re working with on the phone: the sense of hearing. You have to develop the skill to see, touch and feel with just your ears alone to become expert at selling anything on the phone. Learning to see, touch and feel with your ears can be challenging, but it’s possible and necessary for phone sales.

The reality you want to create in any sales activity is one built upon elements such as trustworthiness, truthfulness, interest, helpfulness, certainty, confidence and professionalism. But the most important one by far, is trust.

Trust is created by a combination of what they hear, what they feel and what they sense intuitively. And it can happen instantly, from the first hello. They can tell if they can rely on you to care for them and their interests or if you’re only trying to sell them something to make a buck in less than a minute.

A company is made up of individuals and individuals make up the company. When a customer calls the “company,” who do they talk to? In spite of the proliferation of automated voice prompts, eventually they get to a live person. And that person could be you. Their trust in the company begins with you and ends with. If they feel they like you and can trust you, the company is good. If not, then the company is bad. Every customer expects and deserves to be treated like an individual, not just a body, walking around with a dollar sign stamped on it.

When I walk into a store, sometimes I feel like I have tripped some hidden beam that activates this circuit and this voice out of nowhere blurts out, “Can I help you?” Or when I’m checking out, “Did you find everything you were looking for?” All this without any sense of live communication being established, just a “trained” robotic-like statement that some consultant was paid to tell them to memorize. To me, this is more irritating than if they had said nothing. That delicate initial line of communication with the customer is easily snapped though carelessness, which then requires a deft handling to repair it.

Every interface that a customer has with anyone in the company whether in person, on the phone, in writing, internet websites, email, marketing of any kind, each and every one of these connections are an vital form of invisible marketing of your company.

Whether you care for him or her or are careless with them, every action or inaction creates an impression of you and the company one way or another. And that impression will be spread to others, you can bet on that.

Two points to remember:

One: Realize that you are the company – the company is you.

Two: Remember that point #1 is true.

daniel w, jacobs
(c) 2007-2010, all rights reserved


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