Let’s face it, in business sales is everything… and everything is sales. If you have no sales you have no business. However, what is often missed is how each part of the business effects the future sales the company will make. I think customer service and honesty are two of the most overlooked factors that affect sales.
Let me give you an example. The other day we had to move offices. Because of how a holiday fell, our old landlord wanted us to be out of their office by Sunday, but we could not sign the contract with the new landlord until Tuesday. This meant we had to move twice. We called a few moving companies and one came in cheaper than the others so we hired them. However, when they arrived they negotiated the price higher than the other ones would have been.
I realized it was their sales plan. Give a low quote and then negotiate up for everything. It gets them in the door, and they make a few hundred extra RMB this way. It sounds pretty clever, right? However, in the long run they lost money… and lots of it.
They did not know I would be moving again just a few days later. Even though the actual moving of my office equipment was fine, I certainly was not going to use them again. I felt like they had manipulated and cheated me.(Had I not been in such a rush the day I moved I would have just fired them when they started negotiating substantially higher.) They missed out on my next move, but more than that they also missed out on all my future moves either personally or professionally. They also missed out on all my recommendations. My wife runs a blog about Hohhot and we are really well connected in the foreign community in Hohhot. We give out a lot of recommendations, but only of those businesses we know will treat our friends right.
So the next time we moved, we called a Mongolian friend. She recommended a company who had treated them well when they moved. The company arrived, and stuck to their price even though I had to also have them carry one piece of furniture from another location (which would have been a legitimate rise in price). I was pleased with them and have already recommended them to one other person in the last month.
When you give great customer service and you are honest each client you serve becomes a future potential referral source. Over time your business grows naturally. The hardest years are the first ones, but after you have served enough customers you begin to get a good reputation and the referrals begin to take over and it become easier and easier to get more customers. However, if you use cheap tricks and leave all your customers with a bad taste in their mouth then your business not only does not grow through referrals it also slowly becomes harder and harder to get new business. Instead of past clients helping your business grow, they stop their friends from using you if they get the chance.
Everyone gets to make a choice, but everyone also reaps what they sow. If you make the choice of better customer service and honesty you are sowing future success into your business. If you make a choice of dirty tricks and quick profit you are sowing the future demise of your business. Make a good choice today.