Best practices for a delivery sales rep

July 22, 2014
As a delivery person, you are the face of your company to the customer.

A delivery salesperson is often expected to make decisions that affect the account and your company. Following is a best practices summary for the delivery sales rep.

It is important to have a pen and notebook at all times. You cannot rely on memory for things as you are out in the field. Should a question arise, your notes will be an excellent resource.

Being personable is a big part of the job. It is also important to do things right the first time. Hopefully, the company has provided sufficient training before sending you out to make deliveries and take orders.

This involved ordering product correctly, maintaining the equipment, cleaning the break area, knowing what products the company carries, report service issues, take initiative to repair or trouble shoot minor equipment malfunctions.

As a delivery person, you are the face of your company to the customer. The customer contact person should know you by name.

Listen to comments about the service when visiting the account.

Don’t take all comments personally, as many comments have more to do with the customers’ personal lives than with the service you provide. Always be personable.

Following is a primer for good customer service.

  • Be personable. Your body language should not be robotic. Avoid clenching teeth or placing hands on hips or across your chest. Refrain from reciting company policy when asked questions. Instead, express empathy with phrases like, “I understand your concern.” When asked for a new product, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.
  • Follow through on requests. If you can’t honor a request, let them know as soon as possible and offer an alternative product. If you still can’t honor the request, apologize and consider a goodwill offering like a fee beverage.
  • Recognize people and be appreciative. When people approach you, greet them warmly, regardless of how busy you are. Make eye contact and smile. Treat everyone as if they were the CEO. Remember, not everyone at the account wants to be your friend. For these people, show extra respect. Be accessible to everyone who speaks to you.
  • Listen to complaints. No one wants to hear they have done a bad job. But in a service business, the service provider must hear from customers when they are dissatisfied. As a delivery professional, that is one of your responsibilities. You should welcome input, even if it is in the form of a complaint. It will allow you to correct the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Remember, if you don’t hear the complaint, your supervisor will or, worse yet, your competitor will. Nod and agree when listening to a complaint. Never argue or attempt to discredit the comments or blame someone else. Take responsibility for the problem, even if it is not entirely your fault, and try to resolve it.
  • Seek solutions. When hearing a request from a customer, write it down and promise to try to satisfy them. Too often, service professionals fear customers will ask unreasonable requests when in actuality, most requests are manageable. In many cases, the customer wants to make the service provider to recognize a problem. Look at every request as an opportunity to serve the customer.
  • Be attentive to upset people. When someone is upset, the best thing a service professional can do is assume direct responsibility for their problem. When something goes amiss, nod, apologize (regardless of fault) and then fix the problem. Apologies are easy and people appreciate sincerity. Everybody has a bad day, and if someone loses their temper, forgive them. Go out of your way to make them feel good about choosing you as their service provider.
  • Be taken advantage of with a smile. Never question the customer’s integrity. If someone claims to have not received an order, offer to make good on it. Do not show anger. Do not discuss it with the customer’s co-workers. You are better off accepting what the customer tells you to be factual. Don’t worry about being taken advantage of. As a rule, most people are honest.

Treat everyone with respect, no matter how upset they make you. Once they quiet down, they will most likely be embarrassed with the way they behaved towards you. Especially if you treated them better than they deserved. Remember these pointers, and you’re sure to have happier customers.