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Kelly Mallozzi

Success.In.Print

By Kelly Mallozzi

About Kelly

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
 
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

 

Staying True to Your Word – Are you Gold or Tarnished Metal?

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“Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

A dear friend of mine is looking for a job. Recently, she has identified several opportunities at the company where my husband works. It just so happens that I have gotten friendly with one of the women who is pretty high up in the HR department there so, when my friend asked, I said I would be more than happy to put in a good word. There have been several opportunities, thus I’ve been called on more than once to reach out to this friend in the HR department on behalf of my other friend. The last time, I replied to an e-mail telling the job-seeking friend that I would reach out to the HR contact “…right away. I’ll get to it by the end of the day today.”

Five days later, the e-mail from me went out. Not my most shining moment of timeliness or friendliness I admit.

This lapse on my part got me reflecting on all the little tasks I do each day, and how I go about doing them. It got me reflecting on my time management, my skills at prioritizing, and my overall abilities to organize myself, get anything accomplished, and keep true to my word. And I found myself lacking.

Now, you may say to yourself, “Well, what harm can it do – you eventually got around to sending the message and, after all, it was only for a friend, not for a customer or colleague.” True enough, I suppose, but what bothered me about it was that I did NOT keep my word, technically speaking, because it took five days to do it. What if the position had already been filled and she would have gotten the job if I had been quicker? 

And now I’ll turn the question over to you. How well do you keep your word to clients, prospects and colleagues? Do you always furnish information when it is requested the first time? Do people have to track you down for details, quotes, or missing contact information? And what are the consequences of these delays? Are you losing projects, missing out on bids, or damaging your internal relationships because you have developed a reputation as not reliable?

If any of this resonates with you, here are a few things you can do to improve.

  1. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN – If you are working with a consistent to-do list, get anything that is requested of you on there immediately. You will be less likely to forget something if you commit it to paper.
  2. ACT IMMEDIATELY – If I had closed the e-mail from my job-seeking friend and immediately sent an e-mail to my HR contact, we would not even be having this “Blog-discussion” right now. To the extent that it is possible, clear requests immediately and do not procrastinate.
  3. IDENTIFY PROCRASTINATION and EXAMINE IT – Are there tasks which you are repeatedly being asked to perform that you consistently put off? Look closely and ask yourself why. Are you afraid of something? Is there a gap in your skill set? Are you delegating more or less than you should? Some honest reflection might reveal a training or improvement opportunity that could really benefit you and your company in the long run.

Integrity and reputation are some of the most valuable assets that we own. We should be doing everything in our power to preserve and improve them. Keeping your word is a great way to do so.

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