Sales Lessons Learned on Vacation

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Posted: July 29, 2010

We just returned from a great vacation to Coeur d’ Lane, Idaho, land of beautiful lakes and nice people. I am usually pretty good at "turning off work" while on vacation, however, great lessons of good sales and service kept appearing. Here are two that we plan to keep improving on at SalesLeadership.

Lesson #1: Service after the Sale.
We brought a computer with us on vacation in order to Google local events, restaurants and happenings. Unfortunately, a nasty virus attacked the computer, locking up the entire system. We went to the front desk of the Holiday Inn Express/Suites to get recommendations on a local computer guru. We had to look no further than the General Manager, Mike, who just happened to have an extensive IT background. He took 45 minutes to download anti-virus software, test Tand retest. Walah! The computer was like new. (Hmm….the last time I checked hotel rates, they did not include free computer consulting!) As we thanked Mike, he simply said, "You are a guest. Whatever you need, we take care of."

At your next sales meeting, check-in with your sales team and ask when and where they went above and beyond to take care of the customer. Even if the problem wasn’t in their area of expertise, did they work to find the customer a resource? Remember, any good salesperson can sell a deal. A great salesperson provides service after the sales to create a client for life. Where do you think we are staying on our next visit to Coeur d’ Lane?

Lesson #2: Happiness.
Maybe it’s the beautiful lakes and trees. Everyone servicing us in Coeur d’ Lane seemed happy, not rushed and glad we were there. Employees had smiles on their faces and seemed genuinely pleased that we chose their community for a vacation. They didn’t seem annoyed when asked for the 100th time about, "what would you suggest we see while we are here?"
(Unlike a restaurant that we just ate at in Golden, Colorado. The wait staff seemed truly annoyed that customers had shown up for dinner!)

At your next sales meeting, ask your sales team how the customer perceives them? Is the salesperson rushed or are they giving the customer their full attention. Do they show patience when asked the same question over and over? Are they smiling or enduring?

Take a vacation and observe. It just might be the best sales training course you attend this summer. Do you have customers or raving fans?