When you're in sales, management or any position dealing with customers, you're likely to do it: drop the ball. It's part of the continual education process. Even today with unbelievably well-working software, applications, technology and our electronic leashes, it's inevitable that you'll not do what you were supposed to do.
So why do some people drop the ball only occasionally and recover while others seem to live in the mire of their undone tasks? Perspective, ambition and goals as well as an undying commitment to the customer. If you find that you consistently leave the 'little things' undone, get help. It's most likely that you have the ability to, but lack some of the keys to break through to success.
Lately I've had the pleasure of reading articles in ADM and Selling Iron (Brain Food) that deal with the "if we had done this, we wouldn't have had to do that" mentality. And they're totally right! Car dealerships are notorious when it comes to taking care of customers. So why not go the extra mile and make sure that you've followed up, called, delivered, asked, surveyed, invited, confirmed, qualified and more?
Many salespeople I talk to or witness after they've dropped the ball have the same issues:
1. Lack of ownership (ie. blame someone else at the dealership or the customer!)
2. Didn't set a reminder or some other tool to support accomplishing the task
3. Didn't adequately pass off the task to another responsible party (when needed)
4. Didn't ensure that the customer was completely taken care of/satisfied
5. Didn't care (which is just plain pitiful so go sell flowers or oranges on the street corner PLEASE)
If you make a commitment to handle something, do it. It doesn't matter if it's part of the sales process (which has its own ramifications), or simply sending the spare key to the customer after it was dropped in the showroom. In today's environment, it's more important than ever to dot your i's and cross your t's. The stuff that would be swept under the rug just a couple years ago will have you looking for a new job now.
We're all likely to make mistakes. Do everything you can to avoid those mistakes but following a process and following up. If you can't handle something simply don't make the comitment that you will. The difference in learning from salesmanship mistakes and not repeating them versus dropping the ball repeatedly and refusing to improve is dramatic. It's also what's separating many dealerships today.
Don't be an anchor, pick up the ball and run Forrest, run!
Best practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results