Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Under Promise & Over Deliver!

Salespeople often get a reputation for being less than truthful and for the most part, it’s because they are promising the prospect something their company can’t deliver. I’ve heard salespeople and executives of companies say: “just get the business and we’ll figure out how to deliver the product.” In my opinion, this is just the kind of attitude that negates any kind of future success for the company. It means that the company will settle for dollars over quality and that can only lead to poor quality in the long run.

Anyone can promise a product or service and then go buy it from someone else to resell. However, if you haven’t planned for providing high quality, you will surely get caught by the little details that become so important when trying to deliver. You’ll miss some costs or forget a timetable or drop a critical piece of the installation process. Without proper planning, you are doomed to failure sooner or later.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP
As a salesperson, if you want to be able to effectively deal with product delivery issues and set realistic customer expectations, you must become a student of your company's delivery processes and procedures. It is also imperative that you study your competitors’ products and how they deliver them. That way you'll know how you stack up against them and be ready to deal with any unrealistic expectations they have set.

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.

OK, how do you under promise and over deliver? Now that you understand the real operating procedures utilized by your company, you know what you can and cannot truthfully promise. For instance; your company's stated installation interval is 30 days, but you know from your experience and the research you've done that it could take as long as 45 days. Well, you give your prospect the 45 day interval instead of 30. Now, if the company achieves delivery in less than 45 days, you have under-promised and over-delivered and you have protected your company's operational reputation. Another example is; the customer's expectation is that your support organization will get in touch with them via email to inform them of the next steps. So instead, you set up a meeting and hand deliver the set of instructions, timetable, escalation list, company contacts, etc. to your customer, thereby going the extra mile. It is all about exceeding expectations and it takes some effort, but your customer will appreciate it and become a great reference for you.

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!

Please click Follow on the lower left of this page to get my updates automatically.

Mike Feeley

Free Advertising

Award Winning Mastering the Art of the Sale Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

No comments:

Post a Comment