Under promise and over deliver – really?

How many times have you heard the above phrase used by suppliers and various sales people?

Despite Oscar Wilde’s famous words, consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. When it comes to building a relationship, there is a lot to be said for providing what you need, consistently. All businesses plan their activity based on their own resources as well as those of their suppliers and sub-contractors. Whether you run a time-critical operation such as manufacturing or a service business like marketing business, you need your suppliers to deliver on their promises so you can deliver on yours.

When viewed in this context, under promising and over delivering is not particularly helpful. The problem here is twofold:

  1. When you first start to work with a client, you have a certain amount of guess work to do, and you can’t always guarantee your performance at that stage.
  2. We all get excited about taking a new client on board and sometimes feel we must be willing to provide extra services or do things differently to complete the sale.

So how do you manage new clients’ expectations whilst building a good relationship, without going out of your way and affecting your bottom line?

Here are some words of wisdom from Dwayne Johnson, ‘Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.’

I could not agree more, the key things to consider are:

  • As a business owner or sales manager, you need to have confidence in your product and its ability to deliver to your target market. The key here is to know what you are good at and with whom. That’s not to say that you should not develop new products or enter new markets but do so using the knowledge you have already gained. People generally understand that it’s hard to provide full proof guarantee in advance and respond well to honesty and social proof. So even if they are a new client in a new market, tell them it is so and then use examples from other markets to explain how you approach things and what worked for you in the past.
  • Bespoke service is one of those buzz words that’s easy to sell and appeals to some customers, but it can be hard to deliver on. To scale and grow your business, you need processes and every time you agree to provide a service outside of this, it affects your bottom line. It also makes it that much harder to deliver and is likely to cause issues and to affect your service.  Tell your new clients about your systems and how consistently they work, question their need to have things done differently and learn to say no. Most customers will appreciate an established business who isn’t a push over.
  • To work well with a new customer, there needs to be some synergy between your business and theirs. If you are finding that they constantly push for extras and question the way you do things, they might not be a good fit for you. In my experience, success comes from partnership and shared values, and this is definitely not an overrated buzz word.

Having a key definition of the products and services you deliver as well as understanding your target market and how to reach them is key to identifying quality prospect sand closing sales. Click here to find out how we can help and get in touch to discuss your requirements.

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