Perception is reality. This is especially true when it comes to the value others place in doing business with us, and what they are willing to pay for our services.
Here are some actual events that I’ve witnessed this past month where employees have undermined their company’s value.
A policy that wasn’t enforced Recently I went on-line to cancel one of my memberships. The customer service rep stated that ‘All membership fees are non-refundable’. Then, without missing a beat or asking me any questions, they continued by saying ‘I’ll go ahead and make an exception and issue you a full refund.” Hmmm, apparently some fees are refundable? While I appreciated the refund I wondered how else I may have been taken advantage of. Did their management know that customer service happily refunded the fees? If you create a policy, make it clear to the entire team why that’s important to you, make sure they understand, then regularly get their feedback on how your customers are responding. Ask: Should it remain a policy or be modified somehow?
Prematurely sending a new manager into the field On their first day this newly promoted manager met with an important client. Unfortunately they didn’t check into the client’s history or speak with the senior sales rep handling the account. The manager struck a deal with the client and returned triumphantly with a large order. Or, so they thought. Actually the manager undercut a pending proposal with much higher rates; made a fool of the seller, thus losing their respect and trust; took the client’s rates backwards and positioned the company as having overcharged them for the previous two years. I refer to these monies as revenues that are actually expenses. Not a great first day after all. On-boarding your team is critical. Make sure that newly promoted sales managers have mentally transitioned from attaining individual quotas to driving the company’s overall health and understanding team management dynamics.
Poorly planned trade show appearance This highly respected Upstate company had a booth at a trade show that gave visitors a negative impression. Their display was a 3-fold project board like fifth grade students use in their science fair projects. It was full of glued-down sheets of paper describing what they do and had a few pictures of their office and some of the projects they’ve completed. Their banner hung above the board and there was no one from the company at the booth. Many attendees commented that they would have been better off not having a booth. True. Obviously this company felt it was important to support this organization through sponsorship; giving the monies and declining the booth space would have been best. Your value and impressions of what you value comes through loud and clear in everything you and your team hand out, display, say and do. Make sure your team gets that.
Your name and brand have priceless value. Work diligently with your team to make sure everyone they connect with comes to appreciate and believe in your worth.