Time is everything…Questions before…

Time is everything…Delay is permanent


For those of us living anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line the old saying, “There are two seasons: Six months of cold followed by six more of road repairs” sure applies!


And with that year-round mixture, we end up with endless “orange-barrel” delays on both the city streets and the expressways that we use to get from one account to the next.


Delays, it seems, are the way we live our lives. Except, of course, for the hurry-up that inevitably follows as we rush to make up time! Yep, dealing with them is one thing that we all have to master – or at least accept.


If we’re optimistic (or just naïve) enough to think we can actually make that cross-town trip in the twenty minutes we estimated on the phone, we’ll only set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration. Maybe it’s better to simply accept defeat and plan in that delay?


By building in the time it’ll really take to make that trek, we’re a lot more likely to both have a happy customer when we arrive and lessen our frayed nerves. And we’ll also be true to the golden customer service rule of “under promising and over delivering”.


Questions before …and especially after


We all know that the best approach to beginning the sales process is to ask questions. That simple step can help us unearth what the customer might want and need and allow us the opportunity to customize our offering to make it as attractive as possible. But what about that same process after the sale … perhaps way after the sale – like even years after?


By taking time to ask that established customer if there’s anything that they’d like – that perhaps we’re not delivering today, we might just identify a chink in our armor that could be a weakness a smart competitor could exploit. And even if that newly identified need isn’t one that exposes a weakness, asking might shine the light on one that strengthens our bond by allowing us to broaden our services and add more value.


And let’s suppose that question exposes absolutely nothing that needs addressing. There’s still a benefit. That upside comes in the form of reminding our customers that we’re interested in seeing that they’re getting everything they need and that we’re not taking their business for granted.