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The Heartbeat

Work Backwords

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

A satisfied customer is a loyal customer. Sales Leaders create loyal customers by managing the buying experience, being proactive rather than reactive and becoming known for fulfilling expectations rather than merely fixing mistakes.

I am sure we all experienced the client who is upset with a delivery because it did not meet his expectations. We probably gave him a standard lead time and he ordered late and trucks were already scheduled with several first-outs (paradox – How can you have several firsts-outs) It is still our fault! We did not meet his expectations.

Another scenario is you tell a client it will be 3 to 4 weeks before his product arrives. You really wanted 5 weeks. He heard 3 weeks and he wants it in 2 weeks! We end up jumping through hoops and putting out fires when our energy could be put into selling. Sales Leaders act proactively when they realize there are ways to avoid many problems before they occur.

How can we fulfill expectations?

1. Work backward. Instead of giving your clients lead times, tell them when it is time to order. The next time your client asks, “What is the lead time on those windows?” respond with a question and statement of your own: “When do you need them? Tell me that and I’ll make sure you have them on time.” It is much easier for you to manage expectations about deliveries when you are able to manage the scheduling process.

2. Use late deliveries as learning moments. The next time you have a client screaming at you because the delivery was late, use it as a positive selling moment. Accept full blame for the error and then leverage the situation by telling your client that you’ll work differently with that customer in the future to make sure the same mistake is avoided. Then go back to tip No. 1: Work backward.

3. Manage your organization’s scarce resources effectively. These days, every dealer is running a lean machine. You don’t have time for errors and cleanups. So take responsibility by communicating with everyone inside your company about client expectations, order details, and ways to work within your organization’s rules without creating special efforts for your team members.

Things to pay attention to!

New Number 25@20

Customer Appreciation Day is May 16th!

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