Sunday, August 15, 2004

How to Sell a Commodity cont.

This comes from A Beautiful Experience . It's a blog that is maintained by a marketing firm in Canada.

A couple of days ago I blogged about how to decommdify in a commodity industry (commercial printing). The post was picked up by "The Print CEO Blog" here and it started a healthy discussion. One of the comments was from Michael J, and he drove home a great point - great service and taking care of the small details is a definite must to decommodify:

From 30 years of selling printing, these are my rules of thumb.

1. Answer the phone (quickly, professionally)
2. Give customers what they ask for (quickly, professionally.)
3. Don’t try to baffle them with bs, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance.

The critical issue is to save time and minimize risk.

How long does it take for a customer to get an intelligent, accurate response to a phone call or an email?

If it’s more than one phone call or 30 minutes for an email, it’s too long.
(I’ll call you back means within the hour.)

How long does it take to get an estimate in the customer’s hand?
If it’s more than 24 hours, it’s too long. If it’s 4 hours that’s about right.

If a customer needs a paper sample, how long?
If it’s more than the next morning, it’s too late.

How long does it take for the customer to get production information?
If it’s more than 5 minutes it’s too long.

That’s the experience at Amazon and the best printing companies.

Well done!