More Options Please!

Why are options so important? What's the point of creating this well put together Options Sheet to present to the customer when I can just verbally explain it? What if I don't have the time to fill out several options for the customer? What if I go to all this trouble and they just say "no" anyway?

These were just some of the questions last week in St. Louis where John and I were doing our onsite Service Sales Success School. These are all valid questions. As leaders and trainers, we sometimes feel as though we've answered the same questions over and over. It is our responsibility to help our front line understand the "why" behind what we're asking them to do.

Carrot or Stick?

If a team member isn't filling out Options Sheets with enough information, enough choices, or in the correct order, should you use a carrot or a stick? I'm a big believer that people will do certain things to certain level just because they have to, but they'll perform at a far higher level of effectiveness if they want to do something. All too often our conditioning tells us to penalize them, or force a behavior change at a stronger level. Remember detention in school? (Okay, maybe that was just me). How much did detention improve or change my behavior? Not one little bit!

Let's help our front line team want to do things like offering more options. We just need to help them understand we're implementing process and strategy like this for their benefit as well as the customer, not simply to make their job more difficult, or add more paperwork to the stacks we already have them fill out. A quality Options Sheet with good flow from each product or service will setup a presentation for success every single time!

When things are in writing, they make more sense to people. Think about when you go to a restaurant. The server might verbally explain a special or two, but then they hand you a menu. The menu is usually categorized by starters, salads, main course, desserts, and more. The category helps you navigate your way around and then you make a choice based on what YOU want at that time.

Earlier this week one of my clients took Christy and I to a fabulous lunch at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, Ca. I had a lobster roll, Christy had a salad and sandwich, and my client had them make him a salad with a piece of salmon on it that wasn't even on the menu. Why? Because we all want choices! Our customers are no different.

Educate and train your team on asking better questions to uncover what the customers wants and needs might be. Then train them on how you want those options to be in writing and what the flow from one choice to the next should look like. Then, get in the field and ride with them to help them see how it shows up in the real world. We do this with our clients all the time and it drives behavior changes. These behavior changes will improve close rates, average tickets, and customer satisfaction.

Simply put, give your customer more choices and a really crazy thing happens...they choose more things!

Have a better than fantastic weekend!

Kenny