But I wanted a pink one

Anyone who has kids or is near them will be familiar with that anguished refrain (or one very similar) you searched high and low to get that prized trinket, you put in a lot of leg work and time to find it, and then at the critical moment it’s not the right colour and all that work seems to have been for nothing! Ouch!

Now you know that the apple of your eye will come round soon but that doesn’t lessen the pain of the initial disappointment, you know the store will exchange it for you...no real loss well apart from schlepping the fifty mile round trip to make the exchange, but the single opportunity to make the headlines with a success has been lost. 

What has this got to do with me you may ask but the same scenario is played out hundreds of times every week , suppliers working hard to provide a good service, excellent delivery , high quality products, competitive pricing except it isn’t quite what we expected , Oh dear! 

Well that is a shame, again a good company will recover from that and make things right but that first impression will live for a long time and doesn’t help you to shine in the eyes of your customer.  

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. In the rush to close the deal, and every company wants that, we push our sales folk to close, close, close. 

I really believe that if the sales people (and I include all the technical presales and project management folks in this) were to take a little bit longer to really listen to the customer , to understand their business a little better and take time to get close to the folks on the ground as well as the decision makers; gain some real insight , these errors can be eliminated creating a more positive impression in the customer organisation and ultimately being a more profitable  deal for everyone.

So “does that mean me?”  you ask once again , well I think it does: if you want to create long lasting, high trust relationships with your customers , time spent getting right into the details will result in “right first time “ deliveries . This opens the door for those “What else can we help with “conversations, no more time spent in remedial effort just on the next faultless delivery.

 It might look like too much trouble right now but believe me it can pay back many times over , one day soon the customer won’t even think about your competitor , when they need some advice they will be calling the “right first time” Guys.  That’s you right ?