17. Have you ever used the UPOD strategy?
This whole thing with the economy has proven ONE THING. The customer is KING. All those people who think that companies are in business to make something, produce something, deliver something, or fix something are finding out that if no one buys their products or services they are history. And in my mind, that is a good thing. When anyone in the company thinks that taking care of a customer is someone else's job, well, the handwriting is on the wall.
Our economy is a SALES DRIVEN ECONOMY, PERIOD. You and I, and every other person who spends a dollar on anything has proven that. If we don't get the customer service we expect, we are gone to a competitor in a New York minute. (For those of you who are reading this from New Zealand, Australia or Canada, a New York minute is 45 seconds!)
And since we are ALL selling something, it is more important that YOU keep the edge on YOUR own service that you provide. Your competitors are hungry and they are after YOUR business. And in some cases, they are successful in taking away a customer. I want to challenge you to do ONE thing today that will make a huge difference in how your business grows. I want you to commit to using the UPOD strategy.
Have you ever heard of the acronym UPOD? If not you are in for one of the most impressive selling strategies you will ever use.
But first, let me ask you a couple of questions. How you answer will help you examine yourself and see if have the internal drive that will help you take full advantage of the UPOD strategy.
Are you hungry? Do you want more? To succeed in sales you MUST be hungry and have a strong desire for success.
The key question to ask yourself: “What motivates me to keep doing the things that are necessary for success?”
Am I a goal setter, do I have personal and financial goals big enough to make me do the things the failures do not like to do?
There are many sales people who are content to pick up the small orders without any desire for a bigger piece of the pie. You must be the type of sales person who looks for the opportunity to polish your skills every day. By giving your best performance on every call and always asking yourself how you could have done better - you can be classified as a true professional.
I am used to dealing with professionals. I can tell a professional before I even meet them in person. They have a single quality that shows up in everything they do. And when you deal with someone who is NOT a professional, you sure can tell the difference. Do you have this quality? Can you guess what it is?
Here is an example of what this single quality is NOT!
I am selling two of my properties. I am not using a real estate broker, simply because the folks who are buying the properties are currently living in them. I have contacted the mortgage broker to arrange for the financing, the closing company to handle the paperwork, and you would think the rest would be simple. All you need is 4 or 5 documents to go along with the application. Well, it is like pulling teeth to get those documents. All kinds of delays. Every excuse you can think of. I have spent more time chasing around to get things done than you can imagine. After three weeks it STILL isn't done. It should have taken one day at the most!
Now let me give you another example.
A client of mine called and wanted to set up a series of three seminars for their customers. Within 5 minutes Ray and I had all the details worked out. Within 24 hours Ray had the locations, the times, the initial promotional piece, lunch arrangements for our participants, and the announcement out to his sales team. THAT is what you call a "sense of urgency!" THAT is what you call being a professional. THAT is why they are a leading distributor in the Midwest. THAT IS THE SINGLE QUALITY (Thanks Ray!)
As a professional you always have the feeling that there are things that need to be done. Not from pressure or stress, but because you WANT to get them done. They are on your TO DO list and are there for a reason. You are motivated by end results and keep your eyes on the big picture, the overall plan and objectives.
Do you call your customers when there is a potential problem? For example, if a product is short on their order do you call your customer in advance and let them know, or do you let it go by and hope they have enough left in stock to get them by?
When you hear a piece of news that could possibly effect one of your customers do you make it a special point to let them know, or do you assume they will get the information themselves?
When one of your customers has a problem and calls you for help, do you drop everything and do “whatever it takes” to help with the solution, or do you hesitate and hope that by the time you return the call the problem will go away?
That is the true mark of a professional. That is the single quality: A sense of urgency!
A sense of urgency is a skill that can be developed with practice. By adopting an attitude of “do it now” you can solve many small problems before they turn in a lost sale or a lost customer. By taking care of things immediately you impress your customers more than you can imagine.
Small things like returning phone calls within minutes rather than hours, dropping thank you cards in the mail the same day rather than two or three days later (if at all), make a big difference.
Now for the UPOD. A while ago I used this with an editor I was working with. He was much more impressed with my use of the UPOD strategy than if I had done things the normal way. UPOD stands for Under Promise Over Deliver. I received an email and was asked if I had any more articles. I told him it would take a couple of days. I then kicked in the UPOD (I have used this so often it has become a habit). I sent him an article within ten minutes. Here's the editor's response "That was the fastest couple of days in history."
Try it the next time a customer calls and asks for something. Give them a longer period of time and then kick in your "sense of urgency," your "whatever it takes," your "desire for success" attitude, and watch the response you get!