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  • Nick Hague and Paul Hague

A good salesperson results in good customer experience – or does it?

In the unrushed world of the Covid lockdown we have had our senses attuned to all sorts of things. We have become more observant of wildlife and nature and more appreciative of blue skies and fresh air. We have also seen the generous side of swathes of the population as they have volunteered to help others. With time on our hands we have been thinking deeply about personalities and their suitability for different jobs. Our thoughts turned to the link between sales people and great customer experience.

Good customer experience comes from true empathy with customers. It is based on listening to the needs of customers and responding to them. Good customer experience comes from putting yourself in your customers' shoes. How many of us really know what it feels like to walk in someone else’s shoes?

In theory, good customer experience should be closely connected to good sales performance. Customer experience and sales experience are opposite sides of the same coin. They are close bedfellows. The sales experience is a sensitive time. It is managed by a salesperson who we would like to think is a good listener and shows empathy. It is not always the case. Salespeople, by their very nature, tend to be extroverts and extroverts are not the best listeners. Sometimes salespeople don't know when to stop talking. They may lack empathy for others and this is so important in delivering great customer experience. Salespeople can be driven by competitiveness and meeting targets. It is easy to see how hunger for success could cloud what is best for the customer.

The sales experience is incredibly important in producing a good customer experience. Finding and training great salespeople is an essential part of the customer experience process. Above all else good salespeople must have a genuine belief and an enthusiasm for their products. Enthusiasm, unlike Covid-19, is pleasantly contagious. It is hard to be with someone who is enthusiastic and not share the same feelings. Enthusiasm generates positive energy that others quickly pick up. A salesperson’s conviction that their product is right for the customer will transmit that feeling such that the customer feels and believes the same. When this happens it should heighten the customer experience.

We started our blog by saying that this is a good time to be reflective. So why not use some time to think about the composition and qualities of your sales team. Charm will open doors and make a good impression and ambition will drive important targets. But don't forget the importance of honesty and empathy. The only way to really understand and anticipate customers' needs is to listen to what they are saying. The best salespeople don't do all the talking.

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