SELLING, SERVING, AND BEING SERIOUS

Mar, 2009

This will be a first... I'm going to give you an inside look at what it is we are trying to do here at Iowa Equity Exchange. First of all, props to Jeffrey Gitomer for a column on this topic that prompted me to devote detailed thought to these things. Let's start out with a definition.

When you think of someone who is "serious," does that conjure up the image of a staid, stoic individual, boring and stiff? In business, that's just not the case. The actions that are taken by a business build its image. If your business shows a desire to serve that is accompanied by the ability to serve, the public (your customers/clients) may perceive you as serious. Isn't that what you want, to be taken seriously by your customers and clients?Service_Seriousness_Sell.small.jpg

As a businessman, I certainly want my business to be taken seriously by its clients. Here's a list of some of the things I want our clients to know about us:

  • I want them to know that we are serious about helping them. Most of our clients have a lot of questions both before they enter into an exchange and during their exchange. We are available for them to talk to by calling our office number pretty much anytime during normal waking hours, seven days a week. On the chance that we do not answer their call in person, it's rare that the call does not get returned within an hour.
  • I want our clients to know that we are serious about knowing what we're doing. Handling Section 1031 exchanges is all we do. This is our full-time business, and we take the actions necessary to stay on top of changes that affect exchanges. We are one of a very small percentage of qualified intermediary companies that belong to the Federation of Exchange Accommodators, the national association for the exchange industry.
  • I want our clients to know that we are serious about being an online leader. We invest in our future by maintaining an online presence.  regularly updating our website. We post blog articles periodically. We maintain and update our LinkedIn profile, including linking this blog to our profile and uploading presentations to our profile. You can follow us on twitter (@kentharp), and we're on facebook
  • I want our clients to know that we are serious about being friendly and creating a pleasant atmosphere. Being friendly doesn't cost any more than not being friendly, and it sure makes life more pleasant.
  • I want our clients to know that we are serious that now is the time. Our heads are not in the sand; we recognize that times have changed. Regardless of conditions, though, we will strive to maximize the opportunities that exist now, not wait for things to change.
  • I want our clients to know that we are serious about striving for perfection in everything we do. We're not there yet and we may never get there, but we'll keep trying. Our clients also discover that we recover from any imperfections in extremely short order.
  • I want our clients to know that we are serious about doing the right thing. Our clients' best interests are always the inspiration for our actions. Sometimes this means telling our clients that an exchange may not be the best course of action for them, meaning we lose potential business. If it's best for the client, it will serve us best in the long run.

How does all of this relate to selling? It is my belief that a business cannot really attempt to sell its services until its clients are comfortable that the business is serous about itself. The only real way to show your clients that you are serious about your business is to serve them properly. After you provide quality service to your client and establish that you can be taken seriously, making the sale is almost a foregone conclusion.