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Don’t Sell To Unhappy Customers

Timing can be everything in sales sometimes…knowing when to sell and when not to can make a big difference.

I recently had an experience that made me think about this idea. We all know that it’s easier to sell to existing customers than it is to new or potential customers; however, selling to your customers needs to be well timed to be effective.

Last week I was having trouble with my phone and internet services. I had a frustrating morning of dropped calls and the internet randomly going down. I tried all the things I could on my end before turning to the company that handles both of our services. I opted for the chat feature, since I have historically been able to resolve any issues that way and could talk with them while continuing to get some stuff done.

When I chatted with the representative, things were going okay – she was working to troubleshoot for me to find the source of the problem. After a few false starts and me expressing my frustration over the situation, she mentioned that she could do a system refresh, which would take a few minutes. I would lose phone and internet access during that time. That was fine, because I needed to get this resolved and would do anything to make that happen, though I was getting increasingly frustrated by my looming pile of work that was stacking up.

She nicely explained that she would be starting soon and to wait until she returned to the chat to indicate that everything was reset. A few minutes later, I noticed a new message from the representative… was a sales pitch for a new service they are offering!

I was a bit taken aback by this, and I’m certain it was some type of automated sales chat, similar to what you would hear if you were on the phone and put on hold. It surprised me that they would use this messaging with a customer that was not really happy with the service they are already getting. That was not the time to try to sell additional services to me, a currently dissatisfied customer.

Timing is everything – you want to sell additional services when the time is right, and when the customer is happy. Otherwise, you may not only not get the additional sale, but it could be the one thing that pushes a customer from dissatisfaction to leaving you all together.

Just some food for thought.


Who Are Mystery Shoppers?


I first heard of mystery shopping back in the early 90’s. My grandma worked at a large retailer as a greeter, and called me one day to let me know that “secret shoppers” thought she was in her 50’s. Confused, I asked her what she was talking about, and she explained that secret shoppers came in posing as customers to evaluate the employees. I asked her how she did, and her only focus was that the shopper thought she was in her 50’s when in reality she was in her mid 70’s (she always looked younger than her true age).


I didn’t know then that a few years later I would be immersed in the world of mystery shopping. It has evolved significantly over the last decade and broken through some of the stereotypes.


The one stereotype that still exists on some level is that the mystery shopper is a stay at home mom type looking for some extra income. I will hear that from some prospective clients, especially those that are interested in B2B mystery shopping, as they believe we may not be able to utilize shoppers who mirror their typical customer.


Our company alone has over 300,000 mystery shoppers at our availability to conduct shops. Over the years, I’ve learned that they truly come from all walks of life – we have the traditional stay at home mom, college students (who better to conduct liquor and tobacco compliance shops), lawyers, small business owners, nurses, and engineers. Shoppers range in age from 18 to 85; some do the work on a part-time basis while others make this their full-time work.


Because of this, mystery shopping has been able to serve many more industries than it once used to, and has been one reason we’ve been successful in B2B mystery shopping.


Everyone knows the value of good customer service, and shoppers want to be a part of making that happen. The next time you think of the shoppers that come into your business, don’t look for what you perceive as the traditional shopper – you may be surprised at who it is!