Some of your clients are keeping score. Some of them are keeping a meticulous record using state-of-the-art metrics that are part of your service level agreement. Some of your clients take a less sophisticated approach, keeping a mental tabulation of all of your service failures.
Some of your clients aren’t keeping score at all. They don’t have any idea how you are really doing for them, and some of them don’t know what they need to know in order to even know how to assess your performance. They still know when something goes wrong.
None of your clients are keeping score when it comes to your successes.
Keeping Score For Yourself
You have to keep score for yourself.
It’s easy to keep track of any service issues or problems. They come screaming to the forefront of everyone’s attention demanding that you help and that you improve whatever needs improving. Failures of any kind cause problems, and they are sometimes emotionally charged.
Because this is true, failures are remembered. How you handle them might also be remembered, but it might not have the same powerful meaning as a problem.
For most of us, the problems occur far less frequently than when we deliver what was expected and more. But because what was expected was expected, it draws no attention. It isn’t emotionally charged. Your client asked for what they needed, and they received exact what they needed, exactly when they needed it, in the exact manner in which they preferred to receive it.
It would be nice to have a record that said so, wouldn’t it.
Making Your Successes Known and Sharing Them Widely
Why is it that you keep an impeccable accounting of what you do for your clients that you share with your dream clients so you can prove that you produce better outcomes, but you spend far less time sharing your successes with the clients for whom you are actually succeeding?
If you don’t share with your clients how well you are doing on delivering all of the promises that you made, they will not know. They will only know when you have had some problem, big or small.
If you don’t help your clients to understand how they should measure your results and how they should be keeping score, they may not know how they should keep score. They may decide to only keep count of your failures. Is there any possibility that dissatisfaction might rear its ugly head here?
Probably the most important reason to keep your own score is because you want to retain your client.
First, if you are aware of how you are doing without having to be told by your client, then you are proactive, and taking initiative is one of the defining attributes of those who succeed in any endeavor.
Second, if you walk into your quarterly business meeting with your client with your own score card, your own record of lessons learned, your own list of initiatives to improve, and if that scorecard indicates just how successful you have really been, then you stand a better chance of retaining your client.
Better than what, you ask?
You stand a better chance of retaining your client than if you had never kept score, had no record of what you learned from any failures, no record of what you have done to improve, and no scorecard showing your success. In this case, your meeting will be an opportunity for your client to voice their complaints and to give you a score of their own.
If you want to score well, you keep the score. Execution is only sexy when you prove it is.
- How are your clients presently keeping score on the job you are doing for them? Is it more likely that they are recording all of your successes or your failures?
- How emotionally charged are problems? How emotionally charged is having plain, old, excellent execution that exactly meets your expectations? Really? Here’s a point to ponder. If you Internet were down for a day, how bad would that be? If you were down a single day, your Internet service would have been up for 99.97% of the year. How emotionally charged is the fact that you are being provided with the Internet service you wanted and paid for?
- How should your client be keeping score?
- What scores should you be keeping track of so that your client will have a better understanding of your execution?
- What does it mean about you that you are keeping score? What does it say about you that you aren’t?
For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4729.
Read my monthly post on Sales Bloggers Union.
Want more great articles, insights, and discussions?
Share this post with your network
Filed under: Sales