My Business Tips by Tim Shaw www.timshaw.com.au March 2008

Customer Service is always part of the sale.

I spoke last month about building your personal brand and the feedback has been terrific. We all have a personal brand attached to the business brand that we work for and with. Your choice is to what level you are prepared to protect or add value to the brand relationship with consumers as it is consumers who support or discard your brand and, in turn, your business if you fail to totally deliver on the sales (brand) promise.

Recently I sought a warranty repair on my mobile phone which is under contract with a telco. I was told that certain elements of the recently acquired phone were now no longer under warranty. I was not happy with that answer and pointed out to the sales person that at the end of the day, my relationship was not with the phone manufacturer, it was in fact with the telco I had the contract with. The phone is merely a means to facilitate that now 16 year relationship.

It took some convincing. I was first told I should have sought warranty support earlier when the part first failed. I explained I was a busy person and was not able to get to the store earlier. I reminded this brand representative that at the end of the day, my customer service experience would reflect on my 16 year relationship with them. They had to make a decision that was outside of the standard warranty terms. They did. They valued me as a customer more than the terms of the manufacturers warranty and replaced the faulty, out of warranty item at no charge to me. If you as a customer don't ask, then you won't get.

See how embracing the ethos of a brand including customer service and long term relationship is so core to the business you as a salesperson do with a customer. Not everything is black and white. We need to include some 'grey' in the equation and assess each customer and their issues on merit.

It is a 'shaw' way to protect your brand trust and to make that salesperson a 'brand hero' in the eyes of a customer. Even the largest corporation is made up of people just like you and me. We should remind ourselves of what we as customers would like or appreciate ourselves by putting ourselves in the customer's shoes too. Ask not what your customer can do for you, but what you can do for your customer, they are every salespersons ultimate employer! Never forget it!

Happy personal brand building and Selling!

Tim Shaw appears as the sales and marketing expert on Kochies Business Builders - Channel 7 from with David Koch 10am on Sunday mornings after Weekend Sunrise . He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit www.timshaw.com.au or contact Tim directly at timshaw@bigpond.com

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