The Satisfaction Formula – Fact Finding

In this post, co-author Dave Sweet explores the benefit FACT FINDING adds to the customer experience.

If you’re in business, you’re really trying to sell something. If you’re not selling, then you’re not in business. So, if you’re trying to sell things you should be trying to emulate those who are good at sales.  And those who sell well tend to ask really, really good questions. Questions can make or break your sale, truly.

Giving your customers a presentation or lecture on the product you’re trying to sell them can actually cost you the sale – despite the common practice. We’ve been taught to think that if we just give the right facts, talk about it in the right way, have a big smile on our faces, and sing the praises of the product, we’ll be successful in sales. Those things are obviously important – you should be educated on your product, you should be diplomatic in how you speak about it, you should have a big smile on your face, and you should know what is great about what you’re selling. However, launching right into a speed-dating style sales pitch is not the best way to go.

What, as a business owner, can you get out of talking to your customers? Or, out of someone talking to your customers?

Early on in my career, I was introduced to this philosophy. I worked for Ford Motor Company at the time, and a company called Goldfarb and Associates was working on a consultancy with Ford. They had brought in a number of field people, me included, working with automotive dealerships, to ask our opinions about a number of things (e.g. How are dealer attitudes? What’s working and not working when it comes to customer service? How can the company be more efficient and productive? Stuff like that). Anyhow, the Head Honcho was a gentleman named Marty Goldfarb (hence, the company name), who was extremely straightforward and ended up getting a ton of information out of those of us who participated.

I remember being somewhat baffled (in a good way) at this approach. I loved the experience and I thought this was such a great idea.

I then talked to one of the dealerships that I had worked with about doing the same thing with their customers. It seemed like a near fool-proof way to find out what was working and how they could get better. They ended up deciding to do the “focus group,” where they learned some things, then implemented some solutions, and got better.

When I went to run a sales department for a dealership, I worked closely with a gentleman named Mark (who now works for our company). He had encouraged some of his stores to use focus groups to much success. He then agreed to be the moderator for our focus group, and it elicited some really interesting comments from people, which allowed us to make some great improvements.

If you ask customers, they’ll be forthright.

So, I loved it. It just simply made sense.

Since moving into this side of the arena, I have had the opportunity to be the moderator of focus groups. We would have audiences watching in the background. You ask questions, you engage, you investigate… And, let me tell you, it’s so fun to watch the audience’s reaction when they hear something that just hits home. A customer says a process or procedure is unbelievably troubling for them, and when you have somebody in the audience that has instituted that process or procedure, you can start to harvest positive change.

About the Author

Dave Sweet, President of Phoenix, AZ-based automätik is an alumnus of THE Ohio State University.  Dave began his professional career with Caterpillar and Ford Motor Co., and in 1990, he linked up with J.D. Power & Associates to serve as a consultant, facilitator, and instructional designer. His experience led him to start automätik, a company Dave and his wife Kathy have grown from a two-person consultancy into a full-service Tier One international training and events firm with a mission to eradicate boring training from the face of the Earth. For nearly three decades, automätik has helped some of the most prestigious consumer brands in the world elevate their internal training and corporate events, including Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW/MINI, Sub-Zero and Wolf, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Learn More

Interested in learning more or purchasing the book? Check out The Satisfaction Formula’s website and come back next week to learn the importance of INVESTING!