Stop Over-Selling And Under-Delivering

Posted by Chris Duddridge, Business Director on July 9, 2014

When it comes to picking the right communications agency the golden chalice has to be to find a potential supplier that under sells and over-delivers. That way, the expectations raised during the sales pitch are exceeded thereafter - it's a no disappointment guarantee.

The problem

But without taking a supplier at its word, how is a client ever going to be sure of selecting the genuine article - the agency that gives you more than what they portray at face value? The truth is there is no way of telling. This is why it's so important that Marketing and PR agencies do not feel tempted to draft in a sales rep to get a foot in the door when meeting first with the client - because the fall out can have serious repercussions for the client - as well as the firm's own workforce.

For the client, overselling at the pitch stage will take precious resources to put right. Either terms will have to be renegotiated or the business is tendered out once again, both of which take time and money. For your workforce, living up to promises made in the sales room can lead to a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, it's a well-known problem among all service based industries and one that resonates with all too many businesses.

The one about the PR professional..

In fact, you may have already heard the story about the PR professional who, when he dies, is given the choice of spending eternity in either Heaven or Hell. After trying out both he found the warmth, hospitality and company of Hell enticing and he decides that this is the place for him. Indeed compared to the tranquillity of Heaven it seemed excellent fun. Upon arrival in Hell, however, the consultant finds a dry, hostile and scorching wasteland. 'What's happened?', he exclaims. 'It seemed amazing at first. But now - it's appalling... and forever?'

To which the Devil responds; 'Don't you realise from your own experiences? When you were here before you were the POTENTIAL client and we were pitching to you. Now we've got you, you're just simply the client'.

The solution

Yet, it is possible to put together a dazzling pitch while remaining integral to the firm's ability and involves identifying the employee with the right level of expertise from the outset, who has the experience to know what can be achieved and when, and for how much. This individual will make sure expectations are kept realistic - and that they are met in the long-run. Look at who in your firm has the vision to understand how to keep a project on track so that a quality service is consistently upheld.

To find this candidate, turn to your firm's enterprise resource planning system (ERP). As well as establishing particular skills and talents with your team, it will provide your firm with an essential planning tool that will pin-point specific clients needs and match them with the resources you have within your firm. Through providing useful business data, your firm will have a solid understanding of its capabilities and the prices it needs to charge so that it can roll out a consistent service while retaining a decent profit margin.

With the right information at your fingertips it is possible to deliver a tantalising pitch as well as the service that has been promised. This will win you the long lasting benefits of a long term client and not just the momentary elation of pulling off a deal.