Seven Warnings - Consider These Before Making Promises to Prospects
Frank Belzer is the Sales Archaeologist and Author of Sales Shift.
A local furniture chain promises prospects that they will be happier with a mattress from them because their people have been trained at a reputable university on sleep disorders.
A famous restaurant explains that their chefs go to school in Italy and therefore the experience eating there will be magnificent.
A well-known auto dealer promises better service and more satisfaction because the owners actually have worked in the service center.
At first glance all of these promises might look great and they probably have some impact at least on some people – these are the type of promises that many sales people make when attempting to convince a prospect that they should “choose me”. But are they good promises? What elements are missing?
- They are based on comparisons with mediocrity
- They are based on unknowns – what real and verifiable impact do these promises have on the experience?
- They are only part of the solution – my problem experiences with auto dealers, restaurant’s and furniture stores have been with other aspects than those supposedly addressed here.
- They can be trumped – what if a competitor actually hires doctors or chiropractors? What if my chefs actually move here from Italy? What if I actually am a mechanic and still service all the cars we sell?
- They are based on what the business owners think matters and are important and not necessarily what is important.
- They are statements that don’t really cause me to think about or question what I am doing or the way I am doing it now.
- They offer no real commitment.
So as you look over these seven issues ask yourself this: Have I ever made promises or sold futures to prospects that had the same issues as these statements? Have I made sure that I know what “better service” is before I say we can deliver? Do I take time to draw out the real issues, the real items that cause the client irritation before I offer a fix? When I tell a client we can improve how things are being done – can I?
People, the market in general and no doubt most of your prospects are sick and tired of empty promises, wrong promises and being treated like a number. If you fall into that habit even for a second you have just diminished the probability of that prospect working with you – so don’t do it.
Feel free to make promises if you want – but make sure they are real, meaningful to the prospect and deliverable.