I am currently meant to be on holiday and trying to stay off-line (not very successfully as evidenced by this blog!). What prompted me to interrupt my break was a cold call from a double glazing company which demonstrated where some businesses get their sales processes badly wrong.
Today was the latest in a series of calls I have had from three different double glazing companies (all based in the south west!). They have all acknowledged that I bought a conservatory two years ago but keep wanting to ask me if I would like to buy anything else. On the one hand, as a sales person, I admire their gumption for asking the question (sales have been tight during the recession but they are fighting on).
However what is really irking me right now is that every time I get a call from each of them, I (politely!) tell them that:
- I am not intending to make any more major capital purchases like double glazing or another conservatory in the near future;
- If I did want to buy something, I know who they are and would make an enquiry direct to them, so
- TAKE ME OFF YOUR MAILING LIST!
But they never listen – and my details remain on their calling lists, despite the fact that I have explicitly withdrawn my permission for them to hold or use this data to contact me for sales purposes. So, a couple of months later, the same companies ring me again – and get the same response. It is obvious they have not got an adequate customer relationship management system in place and they have all now annoyed me so much that I would never buy from them in the future anyway.
This is particularly irritating in one case, as they are the business that sold us our conservatory in August 2008! At the time, we were delighted with the quality of the workmanship and the value for money. But the regular calls every couple of months to sell us something else, when each time we stress we do not want to hear from them has got me to the stage that the next call they make, I will inform them that I will be instigating legal action for their breaching a whole host of consumer protection laws and regulations.
So take note sales people. It does not pay to not listen to your customers. Not only do you risk seriously annoying them (and, like me, they will tell lots of other potential customers!), but you also risk serious legal consequences for your business.
I was taught at the start of my sales career: “You have 2 ears and 1 mouth – use them in that order!”. Sound advice that works. So how do I get double glazing companies to try it?