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Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: Capitalize when an opportunity arises to make your company shine

By CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON
February 18. 2018 12:50AM




There are certain moments where companies have a unique opportunity to go above and beyond and really impress their customers. Sometimes it's very subtle. Other times, it's glaringly obvious. But it's most important to recognize these opportunities quickly and do everything you can to capitalize on the moment and create raving fans.

This week, I witnessed a company do just that. It's a story worth sharing and one that every business and sales professional can learn something from.

A few colleagues and I were preparing for an upcoming event we were holding on behalf of one of our clients. It was a fairly complex event that required a lot of materials and equipment to be transported to a location in southern New Hampshire. The timeline was tight, and there wasn't a lot of room for errors or delays.

As the vehicle being used to transport all of the event materials was being prepared, we realized we had a small problem. The battery was dead. We immediately got jumper cables and tried jumping it. No luck. We were at the point of panic until I thought about Sterling Auto Works (www.sterlingautomotive.net), the auto repair shop next door to our office. I had just visited the shop for the first time a few weeks ago for an inspection and was impressed with what I saw. I decided to give them a call.

I spoke to Tom Swiderski, one of the co-owners, and explained we were in a pinch and needed help. He said he'd send two of his mechanics over immediately to take a look at it. Within five minutes, the two mechanics were there trying to fix it. And of course, they are mechanics and I'm not, so they got it started quickly. From there, they determined the battery was shot and needed to be replaced.

They brought the car to their shop, ordered a new battery and had the car fixed and ready to roll within 45 minutes. I was impressed with how fast the work was done, but more impressed with how they dropped everything they were doing and came to help out as quickly as they did. It wasn't a huge job for them. They could have said they were too busy. But instead, they opted to step up and help us out.

While I was there, I also had an opportunity to meet Sue Ellen Ricciardi, the other co-owner of Sterling Auto Works. She was one of the mechanics working on our vehicle, and she and her team were dividing and conquering on getting the job done. I asked her about the business, and she said they've been doing this for over 27 years and love what they do. She said they maintain fleets of vehicles for some of the largest and most well-known companies in New Hampshire and have built their reputation by always doing the right thing for the customer. It's a classic example of how hard work and putting the customer first create a foundation for success.

The example of Sterling Auto Works is one worth using to spawn a discussion within your organization. What are those opportunities you have to really shine and impress your customers? What are those moments? Identify them and then figure out the best way to maximize that opportunity and create customers for life.

Christopher Thompson (chris.thompson@talientaction.com) is the vice president of business development at Talient Action Group in Manchester. Closing the Deal appears weekly.


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