You’ve heard it before: if you’re going to succeed in business, you’re going to need people skills. This is an absolute. One group of people has to cater to another group’s needs and wants in order to generate success in a marketplace.
But while other businesses might do a limited amount of interaction with people and the public, product fulfillment is a bit more involved. In product fulfillment, you have to focus your personal connections in a few different directions, making it a bit tougher to be a “people person” than in other types of businesses out there.
But being a good, well-rounded people person in product fulfillment still has great advantages that you can’t get in other businesses. You are cultivating relationships with both clients and associates, with dividends for your business happening in both areas. This is where you have to start applying your people skills in a modern, multi-faceted way.
People skills in product fulfillment don’t come easily, and certainly can’t be developed overnight. These skills are things that you have to chip away at. Moreover, it’s good to have the right focus to see where you can develop your people skills in the most effective manner. Hence it’s worthwhile knowing both sides of the product fulfillment coin.
On the One Side
Obviously, the epicenter of your people skills has to be the relationships you establish—and maintain—with your clients. These folks are the bread and butter of your business, and they provide your success. Development of people skills for clients is a primary objective above all others.
From the onset, a good product fulfillment business has to be ready to deal in a positive and effective manner with clients. This might involve your product fulfillment business implementing some sort of contact plan and communication strategy for your team to follow when dealing with clients—with everything from sales to complaints—all in a methodical fashion. It might also mean that you have to get a contact center in place to have your team available for when something goes wrong and ready to fix the client-related issue as soon as it happens. You can’t always predict what will happen to clients or what issues might arise; however, preparing for the worst-case scenarios will demonstrate professionalism to your clients, leaving them happy to return to your business to buy more products.
One note that isn’t always explicitly stated to businesses, and yet is one that you have to understand from the get-go: having great people skills with clients can be very difficult indeed. You have to do a lot of jobs and deal with certain tasks to please clients all at once—i.e., obliging multiple product buyer groups, dealing with more than one complaint if your shipment service messes up, etc. It can get pretty harry so, above all, you have to have patience when dealing with the public.
And the Other Side
Once you’ve mastered your client-related people skills, it’s time to get ready for business-related people skills. You are always looking for new sales opportunities, or at least increasing sales productivity, and brokering a deal with an associate either in or outside the product fulfillment field can help with that because they can introduce you to new client bases that you never had exposure to previously. But your skills of negotiation have to be rehearsed, your pitches ready, and the samples of what you can offer in hand when you go for a meeting.
In the event that you don’t have the right people skills for your clients or associates, go get them. Seriously. There are lots of business communication courses at employment centers and colleges that can help you improve your presentation or oration skills over a short period of time. Even pros like Warren Buffett have used these types of courses to great effect. In this day and age, you can make those top-of-the-line personal connections in product fulfillment with just a little help.
Need solutions to your product fulfillment problems? APS Fulfillment, Inc has the knowledge and services to make your direct mail and product fulfillment ventures more successful. Contact APS Fulfillment, Inc by e-mail at [email protected], visit its web site at www.apsfulfillment.com, or call (954) 582-7450.