I recall a mentor from years back telling me that for successful sales and prospecting, one must strive to become “legendary.” That’s a bold word indeed! But give it some thought first. What do we mean by the descriptive term legendary? Quite simply, to be Legendary is to become the “stuff that tales are made from.”
This is a theme that warrants further attention. In our program Prospect & Flourish, we devote an entire chapter to the subject of outstanding service. I talk about it in my workshops as well, and at first, some people will scratch their chin at the topic.
Many of them are wondering, “Okay, it’s important. Sure. I get it. But can’t we talk more about how to prospect for new customers instead of how to provide outstanding service to existing ones?”
The answer you will get here as well as from every sales pro in the world is this: without outstanding service, the best prospecting skills in the world are worthless.
To be Legendary is to become the “stuff that tales are made from.”
We have already established that one of the most important means to prospecting is through referrals and word of mouth. But to get people to talk, you have to give them something to talk about! You have to provide a level of service that goes beyond what your clients would normally expect.
Case in point (and this is a true story): Two partners of an investment advisory firm–I’ll call them Rick and Bob–had among their clients a married couple, John and Susan. Then, one day, John experienced a heart attack.
While John survived the incident and was expected to recover well, Rick and Bob wasted no time in making sure that everything was taken care of from a financial standpoint. Their goal was to reduce the stress of this time as much as they could.
Rick and Bob spent two days at John and Susan’s house making sure that certain financial matters were in order and on track–particularly those related to upcoming taxes, health insurance, and medical bills.
While this may have been outside the letter of what many would consider Rick and Bob’s job description, it was by no means outside its spirit. This was the dedication of Rick and Bob–the truth of how much they cared about their clients.
And here’s where it all comes together: In fact, I did not learn about this event from Rick and Bob, who are friends of mine. Indeed I learned about it from a friend of the client’s family…who had heard it from another mutual friend!
Now, that is word of mouth! That is giving people something to talk about. Even further, Rick and Bob did not do what they did simply so Susan would start telling all her family and friends. They did it because when they learned of John’s health crisis, they were presented with what I call a moment of truth.
It is at moments such as these that our choices reveal the truth that lies within us: the truth of how deeply we care about our clients (or anyone else for that matter). Each of these moments—and their outcomes—can be divided into three parts:
- The moment (the stimulus)
- The choice (our response)
- The truth revealed (the message we send to the client—what I also refer to as showing your true colors).
In fact, we face moments of truth all the time in all of our relationships. Have you ever been in a situation when a friend had a need that you could help fill, but it required an inconvenience or sacrifice on your part? Indeed, the choices we make in situations like those reveal a truth about us.
So, consider this. Want to encourage goodwill, and good word, in your favor? Seek out moments to go beyond the expected, and become the stuff that stories are made of.