Delivering on Expectations
Recently, while having a discussion with a client, she mentioned her favorite color was red. As soon as she said “red,” I imagined fire engine red. Then she said, “Not candy apple red, blood red.” If she had not clarified the shade of red, I would have gone on thinking my version of red was her favorite.
What color of red first came to mind for you?
I have no idea how many shades of red there actually are, what I do know is, sometimes we may be thinking one thing, and our client may be thinking something completely different.
In these moments, it’s our job as the sales person to get more information from the client to be able to deliver on the client’s expectations.
Now, suppose my business was painting, and she hired me to paint her office red. If I showed up and painted her office the shade of red I had in mind, do you think she would’ve been happy with the result? Chances are, I would’ve had to refund her money or repaint her office at my own expense. These types of missteps can damage client relationships.
Have you ever had this happen in your own business; you delivered what you thought your client was expecting only to find out your client was expecting something totally different. Did you ask yourself, “What could I have done differently, in the beginning, to keep this misunderstanding from happening?”
Chances are with minimal effort; you could take one more step in the initial consultation to ensure you delivered on your client’s expectations.
The Savvy Sales Tip this week is to ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand your client’s expectations.
Here’s a simple clarifying question you might use:
“When you say (insert your client’s words), would you be willing to give me an example of what that means to you?”
Sample: “When you say your favorite color is red, would you be willing to give me an example of the shade of red you most prefer?”
Imagine the time, money, and rapport saved by taking this tiny step in the selling process.
You can apply this tip to just about any business, product or service. It’s easy to let our interpretation of what a client says get in the way of what the client actually means.
To be successful in sales, do all you can to alleviate the chances of misinterpreting your client’s words.
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