Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beaumont Hospital is a top ranked hospital with several locations around the Detroit metropolitan area. They are using customer service to increase sales.

Most medical practices and hospitals provide very low customer service and often give the impression that they are above the need to be "nice" to their customers. Not these guys! Beaumont Hospital is exemplary in their dedication to providing customer service.

A short while ago, a friend of mine and his wife, both in their 50's, were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and were taken to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
Myself and a bunch of their friends went to the hospital to provide support and help them in this time of need. When we arrived at the hospital we found the parking structure attendant was there to help us find our destination and NOT to collect a parking fee. There are no parking fees at Beaumont Hospital! What a relief to us since we all disdain paying for parking.

Anyway, when we entered the hospital and asked for our friends the Information Desk asked if we could wait for a "Patient Advocate" who would take us to our friends and help us get information. So, of course, we said yes. Very promptly, an articulate and caring young man introduced himself and told us about the condition of our friends and then took us up to visit them. Along the way, he showed us where the waiting room was and gave us a layout of the hotel. He noted where we could get gifts and food. What a gentleman he was.

Additionally, he introduced us to the Intensive Care personnel that were assigned to our very seriously injured friends. These professionals explained the condition and situation facing our friends. They allowed us to visit with them privately for a few minutes and then very courteously suggested we come back the next day.

When we got down to the lobby all of us remarked on what a fantastic experience the hospital had provided for us. We all felt that Beaumont Hospital is where we would like to be if and when we ever need hospital care.

As luck would have it, another dear friend of mine discovered that her aortic valve needed to be replaced. Can you guess where I recommended that she get the work done? Of course, I recommended Beaumont Hospital.

Her open heart surgery was performed at Beaumont Hospital on a very cold day in December. As I passed bye the Parking Lot Attendant she informed me that there was an underground tunnel that would provide shelter and warmth while going from the parking structure to the hospital. WOW, how about that! A tunnel to protect the hospital customers and visitors from the very nasty Michigan winter weather. Now, that is dedication to customer service.
Now that I am in my sixties, and many of my friends are too, chances are that we will need to spend more time in hospitals and there are a lot of choices around the Detroit area.
Where do you think I am going? Beaumont Hospital, of course!!!

By the way, in 2006 the hospital provided $177 million in unpaid services. Now, that is helping the community!

Are you going to teach me something NEW?

Are you going to teach me something NEW?

Here is another question that I am frequently asked. Many sales managers and business owners hope that there is going to be some magical method of increasing sales quickly without work and without being competitive. Wouldn't that be nice? My nearly 40 years in sales have taught me that sales come from doing simple things properly. Providing value through our products or services and providing personal value through our own experience and personality are the keys to sales growth. Sure, there are new tools that technology has given us but there are still many very successful sales people that don't use any technological tools. Among the many simple things are being nice to people and treating them with respect.

Does it matter where I put my name tag?

Does it matter where I put my name tag?

After many hours of contemplation I can hereby make the proclamation that they should be worn on the right side of your body. For a man, the right lapel would be perfect. My reasoning on this is that when you shake hands with someone you normally use your right hands and a name tag on the right side is the most readable.

Why do I need sales training?

Why do I need sales training?

This is a question that I am often asked. My answer is simple: "Companies do a good job of teaching their employees about the products and services that they sell but they often overlook two important needs that most sales people have. These are 'how to manage time' and 'how to manage relationships'. Good sales training will help with these needs."

The telephone is a more helpful sales tool now

The telephone is more helpful now

It has been said that a sales person should try to make all his customer contacts in person. While I agree with this in principle I have found that "the times they are a changing".
Surely, nobody can challenge the phone for shear volume of contacts. We have found that an aggressive sales person can make as many as 125 phone contacts in one day. However, we have also found out that an average outbound tele-marketer will usually average about 70 phone calls a day.

Contrast this with face-to-face visits numbering four to ten per day.... with the norm being closer to the four than the ten. So the phone wins in shear volume. (I remember actually making 12 face-to-face visits one day in Los Angeles but I think that was some kind of record).
Good sales people will tell you that a phone contact is not nearly as valuable as a face-to-face visit. However, the phone contact can be greatly enhanced today with technology.

Technology enhances the telephone
Using a fax-from-PC program such as WinFaxPro, a sales person can create a very nice looking Microsoft Word document and fax it directly from the PC in as little as 45 seconds.... as long as you have a modem and a phone line to the PC.

Further, a GREAT looking html document can be created in Microsoft Front Page with colors and links to graphics for pictures, videos, graphics and logos. This html document can be turned into Stationery in Microsoft Outlook and emailed to a prospect along with PDF format catalogs also in as little as 45 seconds.

Both of these technology tools can be used to enhance a phone call and be completed in under two minutes, making the phone call a much better customer contact than it was years ago.
Many of today's sales managers were brought up years ago when the technology tools like WinFaxPro and Microsoft Outlook did not exist and therefore they tend to shy away from promoting phone contacts. Also, being at home "working" can have many distractions from children and loved ones so it takes a lot of discipline to WORK from home.