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Sunday / June 16.
HomemibusinessThe Power of the Silent Promise

The Power of the Silent Promise

Every optometric practice, large or small, and every individual in a service role, operates with a purpose.In the business and retail world, when you break them right down to their core, there are only three forms of purpose.

First Purpose: Be Pleased by Customers

The first purpose is to be pleased by customers. This means that although you probably have a positive work and service ethic, your main focus and talking point inside the practice is about your budgets, your results, your success, your problems, the dubious need to ‘up-sell’, etc.

in order to fulfil the third purpose of ‘pleasing customers’, it is necessary to go beyond your open promises of providing a professional service, good products and pleasant customer service…to the point of creating and delivering a silent promise to deliver far more than is expected

You would never knowingly reveal this indulgent attitude to customers, but they somehow know that your real interest is in selling products and making money, as opposed to helping them to achieve the best possible personal results.

2nd Purpose: To Appease Customers

The second purpose is to appease customers. This means that while you are concerned about your internal performance obligations, you are also very much focused on serving customers well and giving them what they want.

The problem here is that what most customers ‘want’ is rarely equal to what they really ‘need’, hence the term ‘to appease’. This weak platform results in most customers not having enough super, not having enough risk insurance, not having enough home insurance, not having the right lenses for their glasses, not having control over their finances, not having the best oral or hair appearance, etc. In short, customers are pacified, not satisfied.

3rd Purpose: To Please Customers

The third purpose is to please customers; which means that while you are conscious of your own practice aims and results, you are even more aware of what results customers really need, over and above what they want, including ‘good service’.

Accordingly, your propensity is to work backwards from what customers need, which involves ‘down-selling’… and this in turn leads to many customers achieving a much better result than expected, plus of course your results are enhanced as well. The least that can happen when operating from this platform is that customers end up with just what they want, which is the starting point for the other two ‘purposes’.

In order to fulfil the third purpose of ‘pleasing customers’, it is necessary to go beyond your open promises of providing a professional service, good products and pleasant customer service to the point of creating and delivering a silent promise to deliver far more than is expected.

Operate by Two Promises

In my work as a speaker at conferences, I operate by two promises. The first is to stick to the brief provided and to deliver a presentation that the audience finds both valuable and relevant. Both parties know this promise and if I fail to deliver on this pledge, my revenue and reputation will suffer.

The second promise concerns my intention to go beyond what is expected of me, to the point where attendees find the presentation to be very enjoyable, also very interesting and very different to what they have heard before… and also very helpful, in a practical and immediate sense. The second promise is ‘silent’ because I am not in the habit of saying to organisers, ‘By the way, the presentation I will give at your conference could be the best your staff have ever heard.’

Additionally, I can’t say to audiences at the start of a presentation, ‘Hi there, just before I begin, I want you to know that this session is going to be seen by you as being very special, plus you are going to find the presentation very humorous… and I think you will probably find that what I have to say is first class.’ So I remain silent on my second and ultimate promise, however if I deliver on my private promise then the organisers and audiences are usually very public and vocal in their appreciation.

The third and highest business purpose of ‘pleasing customers’ therefore involves a silent promise, and it must remain that way with customers… however the promise is spoken out loud within the practice, between management and staff.

If you have ever organised a surprise party for a friend then you will understand what I mean by the need to be silent with the friend, but very vocal behind the scenes with those who are helping you to deliver the surprise.

Most businesses promise service but fail to deliver the unspoken promise of satisfying unexpressed customer needs. At the third level, silence is indeed golden!

John Lees is a sales and marketing specialist, operating as a professional speaker, trainer, consultant, business coach…and he is the author of 11 books on business development. E: [email protected] W: www.johnlees.com.au.