What Have You Done For Me Lately (Issue 444)

In which we are reminded.... and  reminded... and reminded... to remind out clients about the value we're creating with them. "What time is your flight," inquired my driver? I climbed into his cab at 5:30 pm, leaving my hotel in Chicago bound for O'Hare airport. "7:10 pm," I replied.

” You know,” he said, delicately, “it is better to leave earlier for a flight at that time. Traffic can be…unpredictable. One little problem and ..all traffic stops. But, don’t worry, I’ll have you there by 6:30. Not to worry. I’ll get you there. No problem.”

The traffic gods must have been smiling on him; after a brief sluggish experience merging into expressway traffic, we drove briskly toward the airport.

At 5:50, he said, “We’re very close to the airport. What time is it?” I replied, “5:50.”

“You see,” he said? “Plenty of time.”

At 5:55, he announced, “We’ve just arrived on the airport. It’s 5:55.”

At 6:01, he extended his open cell phone in my direction, clock feature selected. “What time is it,” he asked.

“6:01,” I replied.

“See, I told you not to worry, I would get you here.”

At 6:06, he delivered me to my terminal. “35 minutes. Very good, yes?”

Never mind that we both got lucky on the traffic. He (correctly) deduced that my primary criterion for satisfaction was time to destination and he reminded me four times in the last 15 minutes of the ride how much satisfaction I should be feeling, and how valuable he was expecting that would be for me, and how grateful I should be for his expertise.

So, yes, I tipped him significantly more than the norm for his assistance.

Was four times in 15 minutes a bit too much? Possibly, and from the “what have you done for me lately and why am I paying this much for your services” department, he wanted every cell in my body to fully understand that HE was responsible for my satisfaction and to amplify my feelings of satisfaction.

We, too, can do this in our sales calls, in annual relationship reviews, and all points in between. We can’t depend on our clients to recognize and remember the value we’ve provided; we must remind them. This is particularly true in “relationship” environments where a significant portion of the value perceived by clients is extended without direct fees to clients and prospects.

The reminders can be simple and conversational (e.g. “I’m delighted that we were able put X in place for you so that you could reduce your expenses this quarter”) or sophisticated (e.g. presenting a formal value vs. fees analysis for all services and products extended to a client).

We can also ask for our clients’ and prospects’ perceptions of the value we created with them (e.g. “How did our service help you this quarter?”) because they may have a totally different perspective than ours as sales people. They may assess value in different ways than we might.

Either way, we need to tell them what we’ve done for them lately and why they’re so lucky to have us to work with.

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