Would you buy from yourself? Conducting an image self-evaluation

"Perception is reality!" This is often the case in business dealings. People like to deal with people they like or trust. Ask yourself it this is true in your own selection of people you do business with overall?

People base their business perceptions on the image we portray. That image is enhanced or blurred by how we act or present ourselves. This is especially true when looking at the factors that influence people to do business with us on a repeat basis. We may be able to ‘sell’ them once; but how do we ensure they continue wanting to deal with us?

Take a moment and give some honest feedback to yourself, based on your past 6 months experience in dealing with your customers.

Hint: The answers here might show you where you can improve your service and retain customers! Discuss your answers with your fellow sales staff, clients and employees.

• Is your image one of honesty and straightforward sincerity? How do you know?

• From the buyer's point of view, would you be considered reliable? Why is that true?

• Could you honestly say your customers received special benefits dealing with you not available from one of your competitors? What? Why?

• In their eyes, would you appear to be an expert in your field? Why would they say that?

• Have you been effective in helping solve their problems? How so?

• Would you say you handled complaints to their complete satisfaction? How? Share some examples.

• Is ‘integrity’ one of your watchwords? How does it show in your dealings?

• Other than your business dealings, would you think your customers believe you have their best interests and welfare at heart? Why?

• Do customers look at you as a good reliable source of product or service information? Why?

• Would the majority of your customers continue dealing with your business, even if a competitor offered slightly lower prices? Why would they do that?

• What percentage of your new customers come from referrals? Why is that number significant? What can you do to enhance this form of client generation?

• How do you plan to keep yourself and your staff educated and current in your field? Where will you invest in your future and profitability?

• Describe how you keep in touch with past clients. Describe the results.

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If you have been honest in your appraisal of your business operation you might have seen a few areas in which improvement would help. Go back over your answers and ask yourself;

• How can I improve how I service and seek my clients?

• How can I change what I offer them to more accurately reflect what they need?

• How can I make a difference in my career and my community by making the changes I see needed here?

• How can I equip my staff and co-workers to better reflect the changes needed?

• How can I partner with other business owners to strengthen and expand the way we do business and the services or products we deliver?

• How can you reorganize your business to allow you to enjoy your life better?

Honest reflection, followed by a commitment to act, will perform miracles.

Time and time again sales professionals have done some soul searching and come up with some great ways to re-invent their business and give their clients the long-term service they deserve!

The game of sales is best played with enthusiasm and openness. The successful sale professional is one who is always 'on-the-grow', and on the look out for ways to do it better. Are you?

© Copyright 2006 Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey All rights Reserved. Used with permission of the author. Adapted from Bob’s ‘Secrets of Effective Customer Service’

Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey is a productivity strategist and creativity catalyst who regularly writes for North American Consumer and Trade Journals, on-line magazines and company intranets. He is the author of 9 books and the 48th person in the history of Toastmasters International to earn their coveted professional level Accredited Speaker designation. He is a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Visit his website for additional articles like this one: www.ideaman.net

Author:.

Canadian Ideaman, Bob Hooey is an acknowledged expert who will equip and motivate your leadership and employees to grow and win! Bob is the author of 10 business, leadership and career building books including two on sales. He is a frequent contributor and columnist for North American consumer, corporate, association, on-line trade publications on diverse topics, eg: productivity, creativity and innovation, leadership, teamwork, sales, management, training, motivation, customer service, and m...

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