This is one blog post in a series counting down the top seven obstacles to success in sales.
To recap, the seventh obstacle to sales success was “Failing to Continuously Improve.” We learned that successful sales professionals are always learning and improving their skills and their mindset. We also discussed that learning and improving both require attention and intentional development.
The sixth obstacle to success in sales was, “Inability to Close the Sale.” We discussed the importance of a good selling conversation, which takes into account your buyers’ emotions and buying signals and your closing question.
Follow Through is Everything
Today we take a look at the fifth obstacle to sales success: not keeping your promises. Sounds simple, right? And yet the number of people who do not follow through and do what they say they will do amazes me. They seem to underestimate the importance of reliability in their personal and professional lives.
Successful sales professionals keep their word! They are successful because they stand behind their promises, no matter how difficult or inconvenient some promises are to keep.
When a prospect meets you, he or she is privately thinking of one primary question: “Can I trust this person?” If you fail to keep your word in the initial meetings or during the sales process, it is likely that the prospect will assess you as an unreliable and/or dishonest person. And with that assessment, you potentially lose out on business.
What Happens When I Can’t Follow Through?
Sometimes, there are times where you have to go back on what you’ve promised. It’s a part of business. We are all human and make mistakes. It may be your fault, but many times it’s out of your control; a vendor didn’t come through, a contract worker dropped the ball, there was a miscommunication. At this point, it’s best to just come clean to the client or customer and take responsibility. Explain what’s happened as soon as possible so there are no surprises. Maybe you can give a discount or another offer of some sort to make up for the loss. Whatever you do, don’t try to cover it up or hide it from the customer.
And while some clients will take this as a sign that they shouldn’t work with you in the future, most will understand that mistakes happen. This can actually help you gain trust in the long run if you’ll use it as an opportunity to show your integrity.
Reliability Leads to Success in Sales
Business owners, the bottom line is this:
Keep your word! Your measure of success is related to your reliability.
As a business coach, I help executives and business owners identify the areas or systems that may get in the way of their ability to keep their promises. Together, we implement solutions that build their reliability and, indirectly, their sales. Contact me today to discuss how you can improve your trustworthiness.