Responsiveness

Okay, how responsive are you? To current clients? To prospective clients?

And what message are you sending by that level of response?

When you are in sales, responsiveness is critical. You may have an interested prospect but if you don't get them the information they ask for, or call them back in a timely fashion, you run a huge risk. Why? Because you're telling them you are unreliable. And if they can't count on you, they aren't going to be inclined to go into business with you.

Here's an example. I am planning for a huge event in 2009. Because it is during wedding season, I need to button up some vendors now. I've interviewed several djs and landed on one I really liked. Plus he came as a referral from a close friend (someone I trust). At the end of our meeting I asked him for references. No problem, he said. Guess what? I never got them.

Because we really liked him, I reached out to him. Twice. Both times he said I'd get the information that day, and each time it didn't happen. The last time I spoke with him I told him that we liked him and wanted to use him but were concerned about his lack of follow through. I told him on that Saturday that he had until Wednesday to get me the information. I was making my decision that week.

He guaranteed that he would get right on it. Well, Wednesday came and went and I never heard from him. As a matter of fact, today is a week later and I still haven't heard anything. So, as promised we've gone with our second choice.

In contrast, our second choice - who we liked just as much - has been communicating all along. When they had to leave me a message they tried me again the next day. We are right on track - which is all I wanted.

So you see that you can lose a good deal when you don't get it together enough to respond or act in a timely fashion. Your prospects have a right to expect that you WANT to do business with them and you will prove it by staying on top of things.

Remember, it's about the client, not about you. They don't have to be understanding. There really are more people out there who are selling the same thing you are. The business will go to the person who cares about the client.

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