Have you experienced this situation? You had a great conversation with your buyer (or team member) and left the meeting or ended the call thinking or believing that what happens next is clear.

Then the following occurred:

  1. Nothing. The information or action you expected from the buyer didn’t happen.
  2. Reality. You delivered what you believed you committed to but they wanted or expected something different.

This gap in expectations versus reality happens too often! It creates:

  • Extra work
  • Frustration
  • Calls to your manager
  • Loss of future business
  • Losses of time, money, and reputation

How do we minimize these gaps of expectations versus reality? The answer isn’t technology based or rocket science theory…it’s simple:

Clarify expectations verbally and follow-up in writing!

Do not end your conversation until you have clarified, and received agreement, on:

  • What
  • Who
  • When
  • Maybe even How

 Then send a follow-up note to document and confirm once again.

It’s easy to skip this because of time pressures, lack of focus, assumptions, and many other barriers. I nearly ended a telephone conversation this week with ‘loose’ follow-ups. Knowing I was writing this message reminded me to stop and ask for clarity. I’m so glad I did! The timing of the buyer was different than my assumption.  In this case I had two more weeks to deliver something than I thought I did!

That’s a great payoff for the three minutes it took to confirm expectations.

Simple isn’t it? Great outcomes begin with clarifying real expectations.

Your turn! Share what you do to ensure you don’t have gaps in expectations and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of Conversations That Sell.