Setting Expectations Is How You Win

Cheesy sales pitch #1 - What if I could tell you that what I'm selling can save you time and money?  Answer - "Pound Sand," "Buzz Off," or the polite, "I'm listening?" There's no wrong answer here, I know I'm a fan of the first one!

I'm here minus the Block of Cheddar, but I am going to share something that will directly command your success in whatever business you are in.  Trust me?


My simple pitch is to use the art of setting expectations.  Yes, that's it!  Just being upfront and (mostly) honest with your clients.  I say "mostly" because our clients don't need to know the whole story.  For example, a teammate breaks their leg playing kickball and the team is shorthanded.  Or, if the office is flooding because, Brad backed up one of the toilets (again).  Those facts are best skipped.  Makes sense, right?

Setting a proper expectation will save you much work on the back end.  If the product your selling takes 8 weeks according to store policy but you know that the manufacturer really takes 12, I would quote the real time.  Unless of course, you like getting angry phone calls and demands for discounts.  Again, basic stuff right?

While basic, I've seen these errors made again and again.  Failing to recognize real-time factors can kill an order before it has even gotten started.

But the art comes in when you keep up to date on real-time factors.  Factors that can make yourself look like an all-star.  If you tell your customers their order is going to take four days and you do it in two, you've got yourself into the world of "exceeded expectations."  Exceeding expectations is how you win the hearts and minds of customers.  It's how you separate yourself from the other guys.  It's how you get promoted!

Again, I'm not talking about lying.  Keep those expectations within the ballpark.  If you try to give yourself too much wiggle room, you may just scare off a customer from the get go.   Setting proper expectations is something you need to ease into.  Not something for your first day.  When you get to know the details of the workings of your business, you'll begin to discover where the gray area is.  Where you can make up time.  Or conversely, knowing where you can lose it.  This is why it is critical for all those in the workforce be students of what you do.  The folks committed to learning the ins-and-outs of the business will draw more customers and form stronger bonds than those that coast on their good looks or smooth skills.

How do you set expectations?  By the book or base it on what you've learned?

Ever play the game and have gotten bitten in the rear end?

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Filed under: Hints/Tips/Ideas

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