I had a pretty late finish Tuesday evening. I had a 5:30pm about 2o minutes away from base, which took longer than I anticipated as they were a nice couple and we ended up chatting about various things for quite a while. That can happen sometimes when you get on with people. Problem was, I also promised to drop a quote off for another couple once I finished my evening lead, which meant I didn’t get to them until about 7:20pm. Again, they were a nice couple so we just ended up chatting a lot. I did sign them up too, so worth my time.
But as always, my good chum @GlazingGuru had something to say about working so late. He explained that he didn’t understand why our industry does out of hour calls. In his mind, because no one else does it (he gave the sofa companies as the example) then there is no reason why our industry should work evenings.
I completely disagree. Just because plenty of other industries don’t do late calls or out of hours appointments doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. To be quite honest, I think we have done well to offer this as an extra service. In reality, there are plenty of people who work until 5:30pm or later. From my point of view, asking a potential client to take time off work to come and see you is an inconvenience to them. For some people, you would immediately go down in their estimation as they have had to make arrangement around you, not the other way round.
Our industry has always tried to boast providing an excellent customer service, and part of this is to provide late calls to accommodate people’s working life. Do that, and I can guarantee that you or your company will be thought of as more helpful as you haven’t had to make them take time off.
Of course the other matter is having staff that don’t actually mind working late. Personally, I don’t. Being self employed I really do want to work as much as possible to make sure I sell as much as I can for my company and increase my earnings. I won’t do that by clocking off at 5pm every day.
So, do you agree or not? Do you think it’s a good thing our industry does out of hours calls or is the industry weak and should it follow other sectors and have set hours? All comments are welcome in the section below!
Next time: more selling Loggia.
As you blog came through, I am at my computer doing quotes from todays calls. I always tell my customers that I am available when they are. Most are professional people who also work long hours, mostly during the day, so I have to be available when they are. Our showroom is also open by appointment only which means that evenings and weekends are also a possibility for showroom visits. It must work as we are now putting orders into the second week on January 2014 and we are full before that. we also have many customers that are able… Read more »
The aim of visiting the customer seeing both parties together is an obvious advantage when closing the deal. Saves time & money in not visiting twice, but in a lot of cases we still do as salespeople. If a customer rings up to go ahead none of us are going to say no we are too busy. In modern day Britain we are working more hours now than ever whatever industry we work in, catching the customer at home in the right frame of mind to buy our products has always been the case. We all provide a service, customers… Read more »
I’ve always been a workaholic and frankly don’t understand anyone who wants to work 9-5 and that’s it. If you don’t love what you do for a living, find something else you do love. In this industry customers don’t expect to have to take time off work to see salespeople. Frankly it might be helpful if they HAD to take time off – that way one wouldn’t get the people collecting 20 quotes before making a decision! My worst (best?) war story is agreeing to see a customer at 23:30 on 23rd December 2011 about 15 miles away. I’d been… Read more »
Totally agree with everything you have said above. You have to make the effort, not expect people to do it for you. Thanks for your comment!
As a company we dont do out of hours calls, simply because we dont have any sales people who can sit them. We do though offer our trade customers pretty good hours of service with our offices manned from 6:00am to 8:00pm five days a week, and with all email account often serviced throughout the evening as well.