Communication is delivered in many forms. Most notable are the actions behind the delivery. The two go hand-in-hand, and are to always be consistent with one another. Should there be the slightest inconsistency, trust is broken and future sales are immediately lost.
Accountability begins with swift action to confirm truth and trust
Today has been “one of those days” not to be repeated, but good reminders became mine. Time is money for everyone. Should someone choose to waste your time, whether intentional or not, it is highly likely that you will not make a repeat visit to their establishment.
A specific service is reported to take approximately 90 minutes. As a regular client, I have found this to be true…until today. The very same service took over 2 hours. The person was not ready to have been promoted to this position. It placed an extra burden on me, the client, as I had a need to prepare for a client.
Upon returning back to the office, I returned a call. After being on hold for a couple of minutes, the person said she was just finishing another call and to wait. Another five minutes passed and then I hung up the phone. She should have offered to return the call when she was ready. But two hours later, I was the one to pick up the phone and call again. After the conversation, it was clearly her responsibility to have taken action as an omission was made on that end.
The improved communication strategy with clientele is to first take responsibility for actions. Next, always add extra time required to your commitment. This is the safety net in case something goes wrong.
This strategy holds true for:
- Traffic delays
- Dependency on others to supply correct information for clientele
- Delivery of product in bad weather
- Research and potential solutions become more complicated than anticipated
- Multiple people are involved who have busy agendas
Truth begins with our own actions. Is it customary for you to be late or keep people waiting in one way or another? If you have employees, how are they scoring with punctuality on all levels? Should a distant memory involve a customer complaint, seriously review your processes in place.
Review timeliness of the following:
- Proposals delivered as promised
- Appointments kept as planned
- Information researched and delivered
- Special requests met on time
Punctuality and commitment to promises are the basis for developing strong relationships and a strong personal brand. They are key elements for earning a returning and referring clientele. This is true for sales professionals as well as for all business.
As a job seeker about to go on an interview, hiring managers want to know you are trustworthy. Have a short intriguing story prepared that emphasizes your credibility. It could speak to overcoming a hurdle, delivering against all odds, or solving a problem to great satisfaction of others.
- Ask for a timeline before agreeing to anything
- Should a timeline not sound reasonable, explain what you are able to do
- Get a negotiated timeline prior to accepting any agreement
- When traveling to appointments allow extra time in case of traffic and accidents
- Set an alarm prior to phone appointments
- Include a cushion of extra days in your delivery when third parties are involved
- Include a cushion of extra days in your delivery when warehoused products are involved
- After delivery of a product or service check with client about timeliness of delivery
- Provide forewarning if something unforeseen requires a late arrival.
- Just as you wish others to treat you well, be as accommodating as possible for others.
These suggestions will help lead you to the Smooth Sale!
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