I have talked before about how setting expectations can be a good way of building credibility with a client.
As a salesperson you say the following to your client …“I will get back to you before Friday with an answer to that question.” As long as you meet or exceed that expectation your client will be satisfied PLUS you will have gained some credibility for actually delivering!
What about if your salesperson was less precise in their statement? “I will get back to you real soon, with the answer to that question.” That statement invites a disconnect because it can be interpreted in multiple ways! The client might think that real soon (other than not being good English) means this afternoon or tomorrow morning. The salesperson might think that real soon means in the next couple of weeks! What happens now is that the client gets more and more agitated the longer they go past THEIR EXPECTATION and yet the salesperson has no idea that they client is unhappy until (if?) the client decides to let him/her know.
Here are a few classic statements, some of which you might recognize, that will create a different perception of expectation!
I’ll be home soon dear.
It’s a smallish dog.
I’m just going for a quick drink after work.
It won’t take long to get the yard in shape.
Could you cut my hair short please.
As you can see setting expectations is important, but ensuring that everyone is on the same page is equally important!