Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Imagine you are in a meeting with a colleague. Or one of your employees, your technical support person, sales engineer, customer success partner, assistant etc.
Your weekly update meeting (I am trying to apply the scenario to as many of you so keeping it somewhat broad). You discuss some customers status, action items, next steps etc. One of the customers who visited your office the week before or spoke with you over the phone or visited your clinic (whatever fits best for you) has expressed some interest of expanding their business relationship with you. As a gesture of kindness dear reader, allow me to remind you here that the customer(!!) is the one paying your salary remember? Not your boss. So, they are interested in buying more, paying more. However, they are also expressing some concern about one specific aspect of this next level of relationship. Basically, until you do not fix this matter, upgrade this tool, tweak this service, they will not move ahead with expanding their business with you.
Happened to you before?
You discuss this with your colleague and you both agree that your colleague will take care of the issue at hand and then will update you as to next steps. At this point you kind of forget about it. Mainly because, well, your colleague’s got it. “I got it” they told you. 3 weeks go by. During those 3 weeks, on each and every one of your weekly calls, when going through the customers’ status, when that customer who is looking to expand their business with you came up, your colleague repeated – “I got it”. And you, you knew…..they got it.
In the back of your mind you know exactly what needs to happen in order to make this work. You know exactly what process needs to be tweaked or what new equipment needs to be purchased and installed in order to guarantee that new business.
But hey……they got it.
So, 3 weeks went by. You go to a local networking event. And you bump into…..that’s right….your favorite customer. The one who wants to pay you more.
After the pleasantries you confidently say something like: “so we are working on finalizing that tweak/software/process you requested and will send you a proposal as soon as we confirm it”. The guy, shifting uneasily replies – well, I just signed with the other company.
“WAIT WHAT????” You ask shockingly. So he says…..”well, I didn’t hear from you for 3 weeks so I figured…..” (you didn’t really hear the rest as in your head….well…..they got it…..)
Next morning, you, your colleague, update call, and you go……
You: So, I ran into our customer yesterday and he told me that you haven’t spoken with him since his original request.
You: But you told me you got it.
Colleague: I got it.
You: OK, explain please. What do you mean you got it?
Colleague: Well, I spoke to our vendor/service provider about that enhancement we need to get done and she said she will get back to me by next week.
I got it.
You: And did you update the customer on the status, timeline, next steps?
Colleague: Because I had nothing to update them on, yet.
Dear readers. I am begging you. Communicate. Update. Close the loop. CONSTANTLY! And if you have nothing to update……THIS IS YOUR UPDATE. I keep writing, saying, talking about the need to ALWAYS be there in the front mind of your customers. Because just like in this story above, when you are not, someone else is. Do not let too long pass by. They will appreciate it more than you know it.
"I had nothing to update then on..... IS what you should update them on"
Oh and as a manager. Don’t be shy about asking for more details during the process. Always good to add another pair of ears to the mix.
I got it!