As sales professionals go through their busy schedule, and respond to customer requirements, there is often a tendency to miss follow up expectations. These can include appointments, emails, calls, quotations, supportive information etc. Commitments are made with good intentions, yet a little thing called reality gets in the way!
At a recent training session an entire sales team echoed the frustration of getting wrap up in the day to day responsibilities of fulfilling simultaneously the customer’s expectations, as well as, their employer’s protocols. Prioritization of precious time becomes problematic and opportunities are missed.
This complaint is a very frequently lodged as the reason for performance issues. Although we can never eliminate the push / pull realities of the business world, there are some practices that can reduce the probability of consistently missing critical deadlines and commitments.
· Clarify expectations at the time they are made.
· Confirm commitments via email, a personal call or meeting
· Use a CRM system to capture all commitments using the reminder feature to keep on track
· Don’t overbook / over commit
· When conflicts occur make contact immediately, reschedule and make it a sacred practice not to change for a second time
· If you have forgotten or a serious conflict does arise, telling the truth is the best course of action, lame/ trite excuses are transparent and ineffective
Maintaining a workable schedule, with time set aside to make follow up contacts and confirm commitments is professional and greatly appreciated by busy customers who have the same problems as you keeping their commitments. World class sales professionals manage their time more effectively than the average sales person, thus giving them a distinct competitive advantage.
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
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