Lately I’ve noticed a trend that I’m frustrated and concerned by…….people not doing what they say they’re going to do in the time frame in which they said they would do it in.
This isn’t just a professional issue, like the company I’m trying to do business with that says they’re going to follow up and doesn’t. It’s also happening in my personal life like with the guy I’ve been getting my mulch from for over 15 years who said he’d be here Monday or Tuesday and now it’s Wednesday and he’s still not here.
After texting the mulch guy yesterday evening to hold him accountable to coming when he said he would I actually said out loud, “I don’t have time to be chasing people down so that I can GIVE THEM MONEY!”
So, going forward I’m not. From now on, if you don’t call when you say you will, send the proposal when you said you would, or show up on Monday or Tuesday to deliver mulch DON’T expect to hear from me again and DO expect that I will go in search of someone else to help.
I’m frustrated because it's not just the two examples I gave you. It’s been happening a lot lately. So, it got me thinking, if this is happening to me then it has to be happening to others too.
I teach sales reps that they can, and should, hold their prospects accountable. I also tell them that they can’t hold anyone accountable if they themselves don’t walk their talk. I started to wonder how many of my client’s prospects and customers were frustrated like I am because the SDR/AE/CSM didn’t do what they said they would by the day and time they committed to doing it.
I hear a variety of excuses from those that have let me down lately:
- I’ve been traveling
- I didn’t get a chance to speak with so and so
- I had an unexpected project land on my desk
- My child got sick
- My guy didn’t show up to work today
Frankly, that’s a YOU problem, as my son knows I’m known to say quite regularly. Shit is going to happen and I get that. What’s NOT happening is the courtesy call or email apologizing for missing the deadline and letting me know when I can expect what they promised to be delivered. Where’s the basic respect for my time and the shit that I have to get done, that I’ve promised others, that might rely on YOU getting to me what you promised?
Every sale is harder now and as a result your sales reps need to be at the top of their game. That means they need to be disciplined around:
- Making time to prospect
- Keeping control of the sales cycle and not abdicating it to the prospect after the demo. (It sounds like this from your prospect, “We’ll get together internally to discuss and get back to you”)
- Not pitching your product or service, but actually being a caring consultative sales person
- Adding value with every conversation or email
- AND doing what they say they’re going to do when they say they're going to do it
At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog post titled “Why NRR will matter more in 2023”. I surmised that due to the uncertain economic conditions, keeping your existing clients from churning was going to be critical to hitting your revenue targets this year as a result of Net New revenue being more challenging to get. What should not be happening is that you’re losing deals or customers because your SDRs/AEs/CSMs didn’t walk their talk with your prospects and customers.
As sales leaders it's your job to inspect what you expect. If you’re expecting that your reps are following up when they say they’re going to you’d better be snooping around email activity in the CRM to see if they are delivering on that promise. Did they send that 1-sheeter? Did they get pricing to the prospect when they said they would? Did they talk with you, their boss, about payment terms when they said they would?
Not walking your talk is a character and integrity issue for me and I’m tired of being let down by people I thought I could trust to do what they said they were going to. I’m no longer going to be rewarding un-professional disrespectful behavior with my hard-earned money!