Companies put enormous resources into positioning their products, backing warranties, training customer service staff, creating benefit driven collateral and other content only to drop the ball in the sales process.
In my opinion, mishandling new business selling steps kills more sales than any single issue.
Let me give a recent example to illustrate my point.
I received a well-written email several days ago from a LinkedIn participant asking me to consider joining a group of CEOs and CMOs with a clear agenda. The writer was the head of this group and had reviewed my LinkedIn profiles citing interest in some specific skill sets.
The writer concluded asking me to give him a couple of times to meet for 15 or 20 minutes by phone to discuss the opportunity.
I wrote back thanking the leader o this concept for writing such a well thought out request and gave him a couple of times.
Three days later I get an email from his assistant asking me to sign up for a time to talk with his partner or him. What a turn off!
I did not, nor will I ever speak to anyone associated with this organization.
They came in promising a personal touch, and then changed their tone to sound like an impersonal, large selling organization.
Why ask me for my time availability only to ignore them? This was not only a letdown, but also insulting.
Never position your organization one way only to change course midstream. This engenders distrust -- and outright anger. It would have been better never to contact me. Now they are a marked company.
The takeaway: make sure you meet the expectations of every one who contacts your company. Be consistent and don't oversell. Represent who you truly are even if you wish you were a more service oriented organization.
It's always best to undersell than oversell.