“If you oversell and promise things that aren’t possible to get a deal done, you have basically created a future liability.” – Scott Ingram in today’s Tip 216
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host Scott Ingram. I had a really interesting conversation over drinks last Sunday afternoon that got me thinking about just how important it is to manage expectations to be successful in sales over the long term. I’m going to talk about this primarily as it applies to the sales process and the expectations you set with your future customers, but it applies just as much, maybe even more to the way you manage expectations internally with your leadership, so you may want to listen to this twice and think about it from that perspective as well. Or maybe I’ll just record another tip in the future. Focused on effectively managing up. Anyway, having once sold for a company called Bazaar Voice whose primary product is a ratings and reviews platform that you’ve very likely seen and experienced on the websites of large retailers and top brands. I’ve got a unique perspective and view into satisfaction and what drives positive sentiment. It ultimately taught me that satisfaction is a function of expectation. Let’s say for example that you and I both buy a product and we have the same experience. Just to make this easy. Let’s say that that experience was a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now, if your expectation was a 5 and your experience was a 7 you’re going to be satisfied, you’re going to be happy. The experience exceeded your expectations. Now, if my expectation was in 9 and my experience was a 7, now I’m dissatisfied. I’m probably upset again, we had the exact same experience, but our level of satisfaction is dependent on what we were expecting. Now, let’s look at this from perspective of our customers. If you oversell and promise things that aren’t possible to get a deal done, you have basically created a future liability. You set that customer’s expectation level at a 9 or a 10 knowing that their actual experience is going to be a 7 they’re going to be upset. If you sell some type of subscription service, it’s likely they’re not going to renew and they’re going to want to switch to one of your competitors. You and your company probably going to get bad mouth and you can forget about ever getting any sort of referrals or having them as a reference. Basically, you screwed your future self. The flip side here, also known as the Right Way, is all about setting expectations with your future customer appropriately. Be Upfront and honest about any gaps or shortfalls they might experience in the sales process. I know this can be super scary, but the reality is that it builds massive amounts of trust because most people are telling them whatever they want to hear and they know that’s BS. So go back and listen to tip #58 from Todd Caponi where he talks about how transparency sells better than perfection. For another example, heck, Todd even wrote a book on this topic and it’s no accident that he came out of the same ratings and reviews space that I mentioned earlier. I strongly believe that with this type of an approach, you’re more likely to win. Even though you shared that you have a couple of warts. Enough funny looking mole with the big hair growing out of it, but the best part is what happens afterward because now they’re happy. They love you, they love your company. Now they’re looking forward to hearing about that big upsell item your team just finished deploying. They’re willing to introduce you to their peers so you can create more opportunities and they’re glad to get on that reference call to help you win yet another deal. That is what managing expectations is all about. At least that’s my perspective.
What do you think? I always enjoy hearing from you, and as always, you can leave a comment and find the appropriate links at DailySales.Tips/216. Now, do us both a favor and tell one of your friends or colleagues in sales about this show, set their expectations. Right? Right. It’s good. Maybe not the greatest thing ever, but it’s pretty solid.
Then come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening.