Angie Tocco, the co-founder of Phoenix-based LanYap Networks, which helps midsized and large enterprises find the right telecommunications solutions to match their needs, is someone who thinks far more about building long-term business relationships than doing traditional selling. In fact, Tocco is so committed to service-centric selling that LanYap Networks doesn't have a single dedicated salesperson on staff. Everyone's in the service business.
Tocco — who's worked in telecom for over three decades — and LanYap Networks lead with service because they believe sales and referrals will ultimately follow great service.
The approach works, as we learned during an interview with Tocco:
Q: For those unfamiliar with the term, can you define what service-centric selling is?
Tocco: At LanYap Networks, we're basically brokers of telecom. It's not unlike being an insurance agent. What we hope for in our industry is long-term customers. We try to treat our customers the same way we'd want to be treated. We do a lot of homework for them, a lot of back-end work, a lot of hand-holding, and this service-centric approach has led to a successful business for us.
Q: How is this kind of selling different from more traditional sales strategies?
Tocco: We're very much opposed to transactional sales. Maybe we're missing out on some money to be made, but we would like to form long-lasting relationships with our clients. You really can't do that through transactional selling.
Q: What are the benefits service-centric selling offers to your customers?
Tocco: I'm not big on the phrase "trusted advisor," but we live in a time of so many choices, so many carriers, so many products. What a service-centric approach gives our customers is a place where they can turn for honest opinions about what works best for them. It also allows us to sleep well at night knowing we're offering the right products for the right customers. We never shove a square peg in a round hole in order to make a few extra dollars.
Q: How do your customers respond to your selling style?
Tocco: The response has been very good. The toughest thing for our customers to understand is that we don't charge them, but get paid by the carriers. So people can be jaded by the word "free." Our company has been in business since 2006, and I have customers I've been working with for 16 years, even after I changed companies. Longevity is a result.
Q: Is a service-centered selling approach transferable to other small businesses and industries?
Tocco: Loyalty is the glue that a lot of us are lacking. Establishing a loyal clientele helps the longevity of any business. If you have a restaurant, for example, you want repeat customers. Relationship selling works well for that. We don't have any salespeople at LanYap Networks. If we didn't have repeat and referral business, we couldn't stay open.
LanYap Networks has a solid point: Referrals and sales will inevitably follow great service. Consider a service-centric approach for your business.
LanYap Networks was a client of ADP, LLC. at the time of this article's publication.
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