There’s no doubt that it’s great to make a sale. Tons of work and effort go into the moment when a prospect finally becomes a paying customer, so it’s definitely something to celebrate but … what comes next? Do you know? Does it bring value to both you and your customer? These are the questions that have chased me since receiving my Shingles vaccine.
How does my Shingles vaccine relate to a sales process and what can it highlight about your own post-sale process?
I had chickenpox when I was three and it became one of those family-legend events. You know what I mean, a story that gets repeated frequently at family gatherings about how painful it was, how my mom tried to keep mitts on my hands to prevent me from scratching, how I developed a habit of tapping my feet together as a distraction and to rock myself to sleep – a habit that lasted until my first year of university (it didn’t exactly fit with sharing a room in residence).
Having witnessed many friends endure the pain of Shingles, I knew the vaccine Shingrix was for me. While it doesn’t prevent the onset of Shingles, it does minimize the symptoms. Perfect! My doctor wrote the prescription, my pharmacist ordered the vaccine and when it arrived, I went to the pharmacy to receive the injection.
Here’s where I started to think about my clients and my level of service:
- The shot goes into an arm muscle just below the shoulder. Fortunately, I had worn a short-sleeved t-shirt under my sweater but, as the pharmacist shared, many people show up wearing two sweaters plus a long-sleeve t-shirt and are uncomfortable getting half-naked at their local pharmacy.
► This caused me to wonder what aspects of my onboarding process might surprise new customers? I am providing them with all the information they need so that we begin our relationship easily? It is an enjoyable experience?
- The shot makes your arm sore – in my case for three days. Not really a big deal for me although I did have to remind husband David several times to adjust his hugs. The discomfort was definitely significant enough to bother, or even frighten, some people, and perhaps limit some people’s activities.
► Is there anything about working with me that impacts how my clients regularly do their work? Do they need to make any adjustments to their processes while we work together? Is this clear to them from the beginning?
- There are side effects – a headache, an upset stomach. Again, not an issue for me, but I certainly noticed them and they did slow me down a wee bit. Others could misinterpret these physical symptoms and think they indicated that something more serious was occurring.
► Some of the work I do with clients is disruptive. Learning and implementing new methods and systems can be difficult. Does this create stress for my clients? Have I been clear that this is an expected part of the process and essential to an excellent outcome?
- The vaccine is a two-step process. Two to six months from now, I need to go back to get the second shot. If I don’t, the vaccine is completely ineffective. Both my doctor and my pharmacist shared that a high percentage of individuals never return for the second shot.
► Have I done everything within my power to deliver the return on investment (ROI) my client expects? What does the client need to do to maximize the results of our working together? Do I have a process in place to help them realize the very best outcomes?
I’m not at all sure who should be responsible for helping older Canadians have a better understanding of Shingrix. I know that, at least in Nova Scotia, doctors are far too over-burdened to make follow-up calls. It’s disturbing to think that many individuals, simply because they forgot and/or don’t have an organization system in place, are believing they’re protected when they’re not.
What are your clients believing about your products and services? Are they right?