Monday, February 20, 2017

Why Do You Always Need to Promise More Than You Can Actually Deliver?

Don't ever promise mora than you can deliver.
Don’t you realize that the secret for your customers to always be happy with your business is quite the opposite: Promise less and always deliver above the expectations you’ve created for your customers?

I don’t know who came up with the wonderful idea of teaching sales team that, in order to close the sale, it was necessary to promise customers castles in the air, even when it was completely clear those castles were simply impossible to build.

However, it is a practice that has spread like gunpowder and, unfortunately today, many sales representatives, usually the rockies, resort to it to engage their customers.

Cases that have personally happened to me I could mention many and surely you could too as I am positive you’ve been through the same situation yourself: Who hasn’t ever been approached by a sales guy of those who intend to make us think that "there is nothing their company wouldn’t do for us" or that "they would do even the impossible to keep all their customers completely satisfied"?

There is nothing more tiresome than a salesman who fills his mouth with hollow promises.

And, in the heat of the sale, these kinds of promises are usually like catalysts that put energy levels to the top for both sides, the side selling and the one buying, generating a lot of expectations that become then very difficult to manage and fulfill.

I had also fallen prey to this bad practice, especially when I was starting out in my career as a sales representative: I memorize the sales script completely, I believed on my heart all the things the sales manager told me the company would do to ensure my customers satisfaction and, armed to the teeth with these infallible arguments, I then went out to the street to make promise after promise, only to later find myself surrounded by customers who complained because the product did not do what it was supposed to do and the things that I had promised them were simply cheap promises.

The difference between a pleasant surprise and total frustration is in the expectation generated.

And this is why I told you at the beginning of this post that the secret to build a successful relationship with your client is precisely found using the opposite to this sales strategy: promising things you know you can widely deliver and then surprising your customers with results totally beyond their expectations.

Cheating? No, it is not cheating or selling you short. Quite the opposite. It is simply about being very honest with yourself and your business, recognizing how far your products and services can actually go, and how much satisfaction you can really generate for your customers.

When you promise more than you can deliver, you are digging your own sales grave.

These things are usually best understood when you put yourself on your customer’s shoes for a moment.

Imagine the following situation: You hire the services of a company that, from the very beginning, promises you that "they will not request your approval of the project until you are completely satisfied with what they will be developing" and then, after the first few coming and goings, reviews back and forth, some of them because you are a very demanding customer, the others because their capacities are not as thorough as they offered, they begin to push you to approve the project even though you are not completely satisfied.

How would you feel then? Defrauded, right? You then come to realize the promises they made at the beginning of the relationship were simply what people called "car-sales-guy promises" that is, promises made simply to close the sale and nothing more.

Now, let's take a moment to go to the other side and put ourselves in the following situation: You hire the services of a company whose initial promise is "to put all the best of their talents and efforts to develop a project that fully satisfies you and that is up to your requirements as a customer".

Only by exceeding your client's expectations, you will make a really positive impact.

In this second case, you find a supplier who is not promising "castles in the air" but a really average promise, that is, the normal thing: they will put the best of their talent and effort to develop a product that suits you. Nothing more and nothing less. You could even say is nothing brilliant.

A dose of humbleness will help you promise just enough to have very happy customers, for a long time.

As it turns out, when they deliver their work, you see how they have listened to all your suggestions, understood the problems you wanted to solve, embodied in the product the essence of what you wanted to achieve and, in addition to this, they’ve even done a couple of great suggestions about how it could be made even better.

How would you feel? It is obvious and the word just one: AMAZED! Positively impacted, satisfied and happy. Obviously. Who would not feel this way after such a positive experience?

And I wanted to offer you such an obvious and clear example, because the difference between one strategy and the other is so clear and obvious from my professional point of view, that there is no other way around.

The real key to generating a satisfied customer is to always give yourself and your company the opportunity to fully meet their expectations. But for doing it you need to be sure you have the ability to meet those expectations broadly because if not, you would be making a fool of yourself.

That is why you should never promise more than what you know you can deliver  reasonably. Listen to me well: it does not mean at all that your product does not have to grow or improve. None of that. Your product should be better every day, continue to grow and develop itself to keep up with advances on the market.

What should always be in tune with your product growth and development are the promises you and your sales team make to customers when trying to close the sale.

That's what's truly important!

Picture credit: Miti / Ver portafolio

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Already bougth your product, now what?
Are You Aware Of The Tricks Your Salespeople Use To Close More Deals?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Putting My Own Home In Order: Being Kind Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Brave

¡Thank You!
First of all, I must thank each one of you for your patience and for having understood this unexpected absence on my side, which between one thing and the other, has extended for several months until now.

Different personal circumstances have come together with my daily professional duties to prevent me from having time enough to sit down and put all my thoughts in writing about the different themes that have came up in meetings with colleagues, clients and friends, which are directly related to the professional sector I specialize in and to which this blog is aimed.

My mother came to visit us in early spring and what was supposed to be a simple vacation trip of sharing, spending time with her grandchildren, her daughter-in-law and myself, her son, unfortunately became a relapse on her medical condition which kept her indisposed for several months, during which I became her nurse, her assistant. In one word, her shadow.

Thanks God, she is back at her home, in a stable, controlled health condition and receiving required medical treatment so that no surprises occur again.

I don’t know if you’ve heard something called "The Caregiver Syndrome". It is what happens to people who take care of a sick person for an extended period of time: Once the patient is back to normal and doesn’t need to be taken care of so closely, the caregiver feels his life is empty, with no meaning, among other things too.

It feels very strange when you don’t know where to start each day, when you feel like you’re missing something at all times.

Well it’s what happened to me after my mom got well and went back home. It took me a lot to get back on my tracks and focus on my daily work, my professional and personal routine.

But in order not to make this story a soap opera, I simply wanted you to be aware of it so that you could understand the reason behind my absence.

Thank you again for being there and for rewarding me with your confidence and for always reading the things I put together here.

There are thousands of things we can learn every day if we keep our eyes open

This absence has also helped me have an inner encounter with myself as a person, beyond the professional who writes these lines. Usually accustomed to living every day from one task to the other, from one to-do-item to another, running from one place to the next one, we generally have very little time to make a pause and look back at all things in perspective, with the calmness necessary to be able to objectively evaluate them.

That has been my case. For me, these months that have gone by have been moments in which I have had the opportunity to face the biggest challenge we all have as independent professionals:

To be able to align all the roles we play in our lives, while not losing our judgment during the process.

After all, every day has only 24 hours. Neither one more nor one less. And there are times when you have to put everything on its corresponding place and dedicate your time and attention only to the things that really matter, those that are really relevant and leave aside those that can be taken care of later, or even completely removing from your routine those you simply can’t take care of.

Beyond all things, we are human beings, under different roles throughout our lives: somebody’s children, parents, brothers, couples, friends, coworkers, mentors. You name it.

Recognizing ourselves in this diversity of roles simply makes us understand that, first of all and above everything else, we are human beings and in every moment of our lives the best we can do is to give the best of ourselves to whatever occupies our attention and time at that specific moment, focusing our efforts to make it the best way possible.

In the midst of the vortex that we live every day, amid the speed and stress that usually characterizes our lives, there are basic values we must continue to cultivate no mather what, such as humbleness, authenticity, sincerity and gratitude.

While my mother was ill at home, I realized it was a perfect opportunity for me to give her back the time and dedication that for so many years she gave me, without asking for anything in return. It was an excellent time to show her my gratitude.

Her relapse made me realize our bodies are not invincible machines, but simply human bodies, vulnerable, fragile, which we must take care of the best we can, if we do not want to suffer the consequences down the road. Her relapse made me look at myself in a much more humble, sincere and authentic way.

Now you will easily understand the reason why I use to say we can learn many things if we simply keep our eyes and ears wide open every day, trying to get the best out of each of the situations we live.

Recognizing yourself in your own vulnerability as a human being makes you a sound professional, authentic, sensitive and, above all, reachable.

Being humble, grateful, vulnerable, doesn’t mean you can’t be a strong leader or a successful entrepreneur. Being human, fragile and vulnerable does not make you less professional. It’s quite the opposite.

A good opportunity to put my own home in order.

Nevertheless, I also had the time to put my business projects in order. It's always a good idea to take some time aside to do it, because the dynamics of the day-to-day routine tends to keep us very busy at all times, turning us into a firemen instead of business people, preventing us from spending time to plan ahead new projects, even from properly managing the projects we already have underway.

When you put your own house in order, you have the opportunity to set priorities on what’s really important.

With all things back to normal in my life, I will now have the opportunity to sit down and properly collect all my thoughts about multiple issues that have came up in meetings with clients and co-workers, issues that tend to become obstacles for many entrepreneurs as they are building up and developing their business.

For now, I want to end this post thanking you for your understanding and patience, and reiterating my commitment to continue offering you throughout the posts of this blog, my professional opinion about different topics, which I believe can be useful to help you carry out your business, your company and, maybe, your very life.

Because you and I are, first and foremost, human beings, who are making the best of their efforts to offer products and services to the market, and we all face the challenges of having to balance out all the different roles we play, day in and day out.

See you here next Monday.

Picture credit: Novos / See portfolio

You might also like reading the following post:
On Top Of Everything, And First Of All, We Are Human Beings.