|Standard Operating Procedure (SOP|
If your company has a set of written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), it is incumbent upon you to read and understand them. Very often there are separate SOPs for many functions within a company, but there is just as often, no SOP for the entire chain of events necessary to deliver a product to the customer. Also, things change and SOPs that have been very effective in the past, but aren't kept current, can lead you down the wrong delivery path. This is why you must also do some walking-around research and get the real skinny on all of the processes and procedures involved, including the unwritten and untold ones. It is very important to find out how your company successfully delivers the product, but it is just as important to find out where the problems arise in these processes and be prepared to deal with them with your customer ahead of time, if possible.
If your product does not meet expectations as you have sold it, you will only have to spend time fixing the problems and lose time doing what you are there for. It is better to tell the customer the real truth so you don’t have to deal with the problems later. The power of “No” is quite liberating, but that’s another blog!