How to Avoid Losing Customers and Killing your Career

There is a thought in sales that in order to have a happy customer, you need to under promise and over deliver.

The problem is that in order to obtain the business many salespeople over promise or over sell and then can’t deliver on what they promised.

Doing this is a real short term strategy, and usually a kiss of death to the customer relationship…. and possibly your career.

My friend Chris briefly sold hot tubs and home spa equipment. He told me that the reason he left the company was because he was told to quote a 4-week delivery time on the hot tubs.

Imagine if you just purchased of a hot tub and were planning a party the weekend after it is to arrive.

You invite all your friends. You stock up your fridge. And you wait in excitement.

And then you wait.

And you wait.

4 weeks later, you are concerned because there is no hot tub.

5 weeks later you you are embarrassed because you had to postpone your party, because the hot tub still hasn’t arrived.

6 weeks and a number of phone calls to the store, your hot tub finally arrives.

The problem was that they couldn’t possibly deliver in that time frame. In fact the owner knew that the soonest they could deliver was 6 weeks

Are you excited to receive your purchase.  Not anymore!!!

j0285148“Frustration happens when there is a gap between expectations and reality.” – David Ralph

In fact you are frustrated, embarrassed and you vow to never purchase from that store again. And when you finally have your hot tub party the conversation has gone from what a great purchase you made to a gripe session on how badly you were treated.

When Chris discovered this truth and he immediately left that company.

He left because he knew that not being able to walk his talk and deliver on what he promised, would produce upset customers.

He left because he knew that breaking trust would kill any chance for repeat business.

And he knew that letting his customer down would kill any chance for referral business.

Oh his customers were talking about him… but not in a way that would allow him to build his reputation, his business and his bank account.

Plus he realized that if he kept working for this company, he would have to check his ethics and values at the door.

“Values are what you will or will not do in order to get what you want and still be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you see.” – Richard Elmes

And he was just not willing to do that.

So if you want to build your business, your career and your bank account… remember over promising and under delivering is not the way to do it.

Oh, and by the way Chris’ next job turned out to be his dream job.

A job where he could be proud of.

A job where he could build trust with his customers by delivering on his promises.

And a job where his personal income more than doubled. Imagine that.


One thought on “How to Avoid Losing Customers and Killing your Career

  1. I have been training salespeople for over 20+ so when I read about Chris working in a job that continually over promises and under delivers my first thought is RUN CHRIS RUN! This is a no win situation for all of the reps involved and ultimately the company. The turnover amongst sales representatives must be high, and if that is true the company is probably experiencing lower margins due to hiring expenses and lower sales volume due to inexperienced reps. What a mess but I see this a lot.

    Here is the oddest thing about over promising – it’s the easiest thing to fix. JUST STOP DOING IT! What’s the worst that can happen as a company, you start getting a better repetition and sales will increase?

    David Peterson – President
    Atlanta Sales and Consulting


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