Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Be Careful Not To Overpromise - June 17, 2017

An old saying “under promise and over deliver” has a tendency to fall short with sales people. In an effort to win over a prospect or client, sales people oftentimes embellish when giving their pitch. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is, yet sales people still take this approach.


I pride myself on being mindful and very careful that my words are simply a representation of my company. Whatever I promise in a meeting oftentimes must be delivered by my team. Therefore, I tend to be much more cautious when describing my firm, our services, and what the client should expect in the end.


I’ve fielded a few phone calls recently by clients that were overpromised by either a sales rep and even in one case by our sales manager. It wasn’t a stretch of the imagination so much as it was how much emphasis was placed on delivery of service. Timeframes were tight and budgets even tighter, and in both cases, my sales people gave the clients the old “no problem we’ve got it”. Unfortunately, that was a theme they chose to lead with in the sales process, and no matter how much complexity crept into the project, “no problem we’ve got it”.


Our internal team was none-to-pleased to find out that unrealistic deadlines were being imposed by their own sales people. And, the fact that the client would have accepted an additional amount of time from the beginning, this put a burden on our resources which simply did not have to happen.


Being enthusiastic in a sales role is a requirement for success. But, being enthusiastic doesn’t mean giving in to any sort of unrealistic requests or demands from a client, so be on your toes. Practice how best to pitch realistic pricing, deadlines for delivery, and rebuttals to concerns raised. Speaking from experience a client is much more appreciative when given realistic information rather than being overpromised. 

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