Consistency in the sales process
Much of business is about deadlines. How we respond to deadlines tells our customers and prospects a great deal about us. Getting the order out on time. Paying a bill on time. Respect in business is about meeting commitments and obligations. We have all heard “under promise – over deliver” but the fact is that most businesses “over promise – under deliver”. Most of us have been guilty of this at one time or another.

The amazing thing is that most businesses believe their own public relations. I have, on dozens of occasions, sat in front of salespeople, managers and owners who will swear that they provide great service and consistently exceed the expectations of their clients. When I call them on it by raising examples of where customers were let down and did not receive what was promised, I either hear excuses or denials. Many business people make broad declarations about their businesses and refuse to listen when someone points out that they have fallen short.

How many times have you received a press release announcing the launch of a new product or service by a specific date and nothing happens? How many suppliers send you “monthly” newsletters that only come out two or three times a year?

Air Canada (Canada’s flagship airline) stopped placing comment cards in the seat pockets a few years ago. What does that tell you about its interest in meeting commitments?

Many businesses seem to believe that making a statement is enough. It is not!

Customers will see through it!

We all have friends or relatives who we like but whose word means nothing. What is the result? We discount everything they say – sometimes to where their word has no value!

Businesses that make promises or guarantees that they are unwilling or unable to consistently deliver lose the trust of customers. The word gets around and business slowly or quickly starts to move somewhere else.

Our employees see through it!

When we make promises and consistently don’t deliver our employees lose confidence. The result is when we launch a new program they don’t buy-in. They may go through the motions. But because they have learned that management does not follow through, they will not put any effort into new programs. They know, from experience, that in time these new programs will simply fade away. This kills all improvement and innovation within a company.

Consistency provides leverage!

When customers and prospects see that our service is consistent and that we meet our promises day-in and day-out a key sales objection is destroyed! Lack of trust becomes a non-issue! Most people do not buy on price – no matter what the market conditions – they buy because of trust.

A huge part of the success of chains like McDonald’s and Starbuck’s is that customers know the service and product will always be consistent from store to store.

Make a promise and stick with it. Set a standard and meet it consistently. Say you will do something and do it! Your sales will grow just as consistently!

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