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Why Customers Call Their Salesperson When Problems Arise

April 12, 2024
Reading Time: 3 min.
Good Sales Work Results in Trusting Relationships
person using mobile phone

Adam Tappen | 11 April, 2024

Adam Tappen 'Taps' His Experience

In my nearly 30 years of sales and leadership roles there has been a consistent trend that sometimes confuses people who are not in sales. That trend is:, a customer calling their salesperson when there is an issue after the sale has been completed.

 It is often confounding to a non-salesperson why this happens. I have gotten the question many times and from many different parts of organizations including project managers, technical support, product management, other members of leadership and it typically sounds something like this, "Why did the customer call the salesperson? I (or my team) is in the process of handling the issue so why didn't they call me?"

man using computer

Considering the Customer’s Point of View

As a customer, If if I have an issue — even with complex hospital systems — I too will call my salesperson instead of the person I'm supposed to call. Usually this is associated with a larger purchase and I do this for a few reasons:

  • Promises: The salesperson is the one who promised me the product and often times the experience that goes along with the product. If I'm not getting what I was promised, I'm going to go to the person who promised it.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Salespeople are generally eager to please and may have the opportunity for repeat sales. If you ever want me to consider buying from you again, you need to make this right.
  • Relationships: I probably built a relationship, or at least a rapport, with the salesperson during the sale. A good salesperson will see this relationship as being meaningful. They don't want a good relationship with a good customer to be sullied by a negative experience.
  • Responsiveness: In sales we are taught to respond quickly. This is probably one of the biggest reasons customers reach out to salespeople. Customers may feel like the issue will be resolved through the "normal channels," but if I can get things resolved quicker through my salesperson I'll take the path of least resistance.
  • Communication: Salespeople are generally good at communicating and give me updates through the process. Typically a salesperson will be clear about where the issue exists, mostly because they will want me to know the issue isn't with them as the salesperson.
  • Reputation: My reputation as a salesperson is meaningful. How the world sees me will determine my overall success in sales both in my current role and wherever I may land in the future. If I sold you a roof yesterday I may change jobs and want to sell you siding tomorrow.

In my opinion, all this comes down to one common theme; a good salesperson is my advocate. The salesperson will do this dirty work quickly because they already made the sale. The less time they have to spend on my issue, the quicker they can get on to the next sale (whether that is with me or another customer). Ultimately, if you are not in sales and you want a customer to call you instead of the salesperson, consider why they called their salesperson.

About Adam:

Adam is the Vice President of Sales at TransLogic, a Swisslog Healthcare company. With over 3 decades of sales experience, his expertise ranges from mechanical engineering to business development. Today, Adam uses his diverse background and his customer-centric approach to help healthcare organizations across North America find the solutions they need to thrive.