Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A bunch of hot air?

Readers of this blog will remember that I appreciate the writing of sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer ( ). He has a comment on company mission statements this week. He thinks that mission statements should be replaced with Customer Promises that simply state what we are committed to in our customer interactions and relationships. Things we do because we intend to do them.

“They are NOT goals. They are NOT missions. They are NOT hype, or marketing drivel (like your mission statement). They ARE promises TO customers, AND commitments that WE have made to ourselves, and deliver to everyone we connect with.”

Here are some of his suggestions (and Saelig responses):

Customer Promises and Commitments (that are all about the outcome)…
• We will be friendly. (Yes!)
• We will be professional. (Yes!)
• We will be helpful. (Yes!)
• We will be proactive. (We try hard on this one - informing customers in case of shipping delays, obsolescences, etc.)
• We will be knowledgeable. (Yes – this is a challenge for products from over 100 companies, however, so we sometimes defer to the manufacturers for in-depth answers)
• We will be easy to do business with. (Yes!)
• We will provide the highest quality products. (Yes!)
• We will do what we promise. (Yes!)
• We will keep you informed as we progress. (Yes!)
• We will maintain great attitudes toward service. (Yes!)
• We will earn your loyalty with quality and value. (Yes!)
• We will serve memorably. (Yes!)
• We will be on the leading edge of technology. (Yes! We’re constantly searching the world for new products)
• We will be an expert resource for you. (Yes!)
• We will use CREATIVITY and VALUE to differentiate. (Yes!)
• We will be committed to earn your loyalty. (With integrity!)
• We will treat all customers the same – LIKE GOLD. (Yes!)

Incidentally, he also states: “If you answer your phone with ‘press one, press two…’ you automatically lose. No matter what you do, every customer hates you before you say a word. Is that true? We have a phone system that asks customers to select 1 or 2 for Sales or Technical inquiries. I’d be very interested to hear if that is a problem for our customers.