Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

How Professional Are You?

  • September 1, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

Unreliability is endemic in today’s business world. That’s a big statement, but nevertheless true.

When did business people stop having the common decency to do what they said they would do, by when they said they would do it?

For the most part, people today simply don’t deliver. It’s like they just don’t care - that it’s not important to them to be on time, to deliver, or even be polite anymore. May be their busy, but that’s no excuse. Or maybe, it’s simply gone out of fashion; it used to be a virtue, it used to be important. These days we accept the vast majority of people will let us down; that we will have to send valuable time chasing them down. Leaving a message on someone’s voicemail is often like speaking into a black hole, and sending an email is akin to placing a book on a shelf in a library hoping someone will stumble upon it and take a look at some time in the near future.

Here’s a pop quiz

  1. If someone calls you and says, “I’ll call you back on Thursday for sure” do you expect to hear from them:
    1. On Thursday?
    2. On Friday
    3. Sometime the following week?
    4. Never, unless you call them back?
  2. If someone emails you and says, “I promise I’ll get you those details by noon Tuesday” does that mean:
    1. I’ll pull together the figures and get them out to you as soon as I can?
    2. I’ll get around to sending them eventually?
    3. I’ll forget about this the moment something else comes up?
    4. I’ll wait until you call me back before getting around to this?
  3. When doctors’ offices and hair stylists call you to remind you of your appointment, are they:
    1. Providing a high level of customer service?
    2. Spending valuable time reminding people to turn up because a large percentage of people forget they have an appointment?
    3. Wasting their time because the majority of people do turn up for their appointment on time?

Find the answers at the end of the article.

How can you stand out?

Being 100% reliable has suddenly become a unique selling proposition – a way of differentiating your business.

  1. Systemize your call backs – set a time limit on how long it will take you to get back to someone who calls. Make it as short as is feasible for your business and tell callers that you will get back to them within 12-hours, the next day, or whatever and then stick to it!
  2. Check your emails regularly and when you do, answer them! Allowing them to drift farther and farther from the top of your inbox increase the chance they will be forgotten.
  3. If you say you are going to do something – do it! Diarize it and give it a time and date. Don’t just keep it in the back of your mind.
  4. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Period.
  5. When you create a timeline for a job do not make it unrealistically short to impress the client. What impresses clients is delivering on time or ahead of time. If you say it will take 10-days and you deliver in 15-days, your reputation gets a hit. If you say you’ll deliver in 20 and you deliver in 15 you are a hero.
  6. Don’t wing your day, your week, or your month. Plan ahead so you can be reliable. Build your reputation on reliability and professionalism.

As the business world becomes increasingly unreliable, it offers professionals a marketing opportunity. When you make a point out of being exceptionally reliable, you stand out from the crowd. Isn’t that what you want in this highly competitive world?

ANSWERS

  1. D)
  2. Anything but A)
  3. B)

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