Now, where does a print job finish? It is not at the end of production or the point of delivery. It can only be at what we should call The Point of Known Satisfaction. In other words, every print job has to end with a happy customer.
Do you have a means of determining the happiness of your customers? If not, I submit that you are not following a recipe for success. In fact, you are flirting with disaster. I’ll write more on the topic of measuring customer satisfaction in next month’s column.
Recipe for Disaster
For today, I want to share something else with you – another recipe for disaster! Just yesterday, one of my new sales coaching clients told me that he feels “claustrophobic” when I talk about consistency. He doesn’t like the idea of following a recipe/process. He especially doesn’t like the idea of being held accountable for some number of prospecting calls every week, and for some number of appointments and other measurables. “The thing I like most about selling,” he said, “is that every day is different. And I think pretty well on my feet, so if you put those things together, I think I’m at my best when I’m free to roam and free to wing it.”
Let me draw a distinction here between experimentation and winging it. As noted, there’s a trial-and-error component to the development of a recipe, and most salespeople engage in some trial-and-error as they’re learning how to sell. Beyond that, even the best and most experienced salespeople will run into a head-scratcher occasionally. But I see a significant difference between thoughtful experimentation and what this guy seems to want to be doing.
I think it’s also pretty likely that when you read his comment, you were in complete agreement about this being a recipe for disaster.
So here’s the question. Do you have anyone working for you who is following a recipe for disaster? Are you following any of those recipes yourself? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, doing something about it today night save you a lot of aggravation later on. This is another application of the Tomorrow Man philosophy I wrote about a few months ago.
Here’s something else to think about when you’re tempted to wing it. The origin of that expression is contained in the phrase a wing and a prayer, and that refers back to the earliest days of aviation. Do you really want your business or personal wellbeing to be hanging on a wing and a prayer? If not, it’s probably a really good idea to study best practices and then follow a recipe for success.
Dave Fellman is president of David Fellman & Associates, Cary, NC, a sales and marketing consulting firm serving numerous segments of the graphic arts industry. Contact Dave by phone at 800-325-9634; by fax at 919-363-4069; or by e-mail at email@example.com. Visit his website at www.davefellman.com. See the ad for Dave’s products and services in this issue.