When on Time Means Late
A customer places an order and says, “No rush” when asked when they need it. “It’ll be about a week,” you tell them and they reply, “That’s fine. Whatever.” So, you enter the job and a little more than a week later it ships. Seems innocent enough, right?
A month later you realize you haven’t heard from that client in a while and they usually place new orders every week. You call and you call. Nothing. Finally, you drive over there and ask to see your key contact. She comes out and tells you they’ve found another vendor at her boss’ request. Seems that last job came in late. Again.
Late? Late? Recalling the circumstances, you are dumbfounded. The customer had no rush needs and said a week’s delivery time was acceptable. What happened?
What happened was two things. First, you set their expectations - “About a week,” you told them. A week is seven days. So the client is expecting the job one week from the day it was placed. When it didn’t arrive on that date, despite the fact that it was not needed, it became late in their minds. Second, you failed to update and communicate with the client. A simple, “You should receive the job this Friday” would have solved everything.
What seemed like an innocent reorder cost you an entire client, all because you made an assumption and failed to communicate. This kind of sales laziness, for lack of a better term, is any easy trap to fall into. Treat every client and every order as precious. If anything, over communicate with clients and you will be on the safe side every time.
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