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

I also recommend you to read the following posts:
Already bougth your product, now what?
Are You Aware Of The Tricks Your Salespeople Use To Close More Deals?

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