With the continued usage of social media to get information, consumers often know just as much about the products they’re buying as the salesperson, with whom they are dealing with. By the time they are with a salesperson, they've sometimes usually already made a decision. This creates the need for having salespersons view themselves as ambassadors, responsible for the entire customer experience. They are the face of the company, from the first interaction with the customer, throughout the purchase and followup on satisfaction.
According to Lars Lofgren, of KISSmetrics.com, who writes on sales and marketing, "The key to sales and the growth of your company is education. It enables you to build relationships and truly understand the needs of your customers. And the only way to educate effectively is to take responsibility for the entire customer lifecycle. You’ll need to merge the roles of marketing, sales, and support into an ambassador role."
Walter Viera, author of 'The New Professional Salesman' says, "The person that the customer will meet on a regular basis is the salesman, who services the customer every month, or every two months, or whatever the frequency of visits is for that particular company. The customer forms his impression of the company and it's products, largely based on his or her impression of the salesman. The salesman, therefore, projects an image of the company like an ambassador does for his country."
Here are some questions to begin assessing if your salespersons are ready to be ambassadors in providing great service:
- Familiarity with the service and products your company provides?
- Knowledge of who your customers are?
- Are they aware of how you are positioned against similar companies?
- Are they aware of what your services and products value is to the customer?
- How your products or services are used by your customers?
- Are they aware of future product or service offerings?
Leveraging the company for continued customer loyalty can be achieved through the salesperson's ability to create a great experience in the mind of the customer, as an ambassador.