When we launched the Dealmaker Partner Network at the end of 2009, we were fortunate enough to have lots of applicants looking to join. The first question we always ask, is “What value will being part of the DPN bring to your customers?” The thinking is that unless potential partners are very clear as to how participation in the DPN will help their customers, then it’s unlikely that there is a good fit.
One of the recent additions to the DPN, as a Certified Partner, is Engleby Associates, a specialist sales consultancy based in the north of England. Engleby’s CEO, Richard Lane, embodies customer focus, and we’re delighted to have his company as part of the DPN. I think this guest post from Richard clearly illustrates his perspective.
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Build powerful relationships quickly by under promising then over delivering on the promise.
Lots of small and regular successes can quickly secure your position as a trusted and reliable resource in your customer’s mind – the road to becoming the holy grail, ‘a partner of choice’. In my sales coaching work, I always stress the importance of effectively managing expectations. When building relationships with either prospects or new customers it is important to quickly build an aura of reliability and pro-activity. Of course, when I say “under promise” I don’t mean set the bar so low that your customer is wondering if you are going to actually do anything anyway. If you deliver early on an item that the customer thought was slow, easy or expected in the first place then this isn’t going to do you any favors. You need to overwhelm whilst under promising. This will then enable you to over deliver.
Overwhelm > Under Promise > Over Deliver
It may be time of response, value of the solution presented, understanding of their needs, support and service. Anything and everything.
In a recent podcast, Craig Elias made a terrific comment which went along the following lines: “We treat our great customers in a special way. Why then don’t we treat those that we want to be our great customers the same way?“ A brilliant reflection.
With the above in mind, here is a quick exercise you might like to do:
- Think about how quickly you react to your best customer. Think about the types of information you send to them. Think about how pro-active you are with them. How quick you are to troubleshoot and resolve any and all challenges that occur?
- Now think about how you work with your prospects. Think about the top 10 prospects you are hoping to convert into great customers during 2010. How well do you know them? How pro-active are you with the information you send them? How quickly do you respond to their enquiries? How hard do you push your internal support teams to deliver the same service that your best customers get?
If from the above you have identified a difference in the way you (or your business) acts, think through a strategy that will enable you to treat everyone as if they are your greatest customer.
The mind is a powerful thing. If we act as if we are then we will become.
Effectively manage expectations to your advantage: Overwhelm, under promise, over deliver.
Richard Lane, CEO, Engleby Associates. www.englebyassociates.com