Have you ever seen a sign bearing the following set of letters: DWYSYWD? Many people may have seen this grouping of letters in offices around the country, and maybe they know what it means and maybe they don’t.
For those who have not seen this before, the letters are a reminder to DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO. Pretty simple. Pretty basic. Do what you say you will do. Pretty important too. Why? Because this creates the basis for building trust in any relationship. Can people in your life trust that YOU will do what you say you will do?
My dad taught me — as many fathers and mothers have taught their children throughout the years — that trust takes a long time to gain, but only a moment to lose. I am sure that, as adults, many of you who are reading this are shaking your noggins in agreement and sadly remembering an instance in your own life where this fact hit home. You had a relationship that you trusted and could count on that, for some reason or another, was ruined in only a moment.
So, as you naturally may be reflecting on the negative consequences of that experience in your own lives, how do we now commit to moving forward so that we will never be forced to experience this in our business lives? How do we become known by our peers and clients as a person who can be counted on to do what we say we will do, to build that trust that is so critical to our internal and external relationships? This is not an easy task, but one, when accomplished, will be a part of your business and life success.
Here are some things to consider when trying to always DWYSYWD:
- Never over-promise and under-deliver. Make sure you have integrity in what you or your business unit can deliver. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it is critical for long-term relationship building that the first business experience is positive for both parties. Hold yourself accountable to your words and deliver on your promises.
- Have a system to keep track of your business commitments. Use a contact relationship management (CRM) tool to input and stay on top of client needs, deadlines, phone calls, proposal timelines, critical paths, and any other project or commitment that require action on your part. DWYSYWD will enable you to do so in a timely and consistent fashion, which will help in building trust over time.
- Approach your clients, both internal and external, as partners. Know that win-win is the only acceptable result. In our slow-growing economy, and with all the competitive intrusion into the media space, there simply is not enough new economic growth to provide you with a never-ending list of new potential media sales clients. Treat each one with care.
- If you are in a management position, doing what you say you will do is critical to retaining and developing high performing sales talent. Talented sellers want to work for talented and trustworthy managers. They want to know that you have their best interests at heart, that you know them, their strengths and non-strengths. You can build profitable and trusted relationships by DWYSYWD at all times. Be on time for their one-on-one meeting; be prepared. Don’t waste their time. If you are scheduled to ride along, ride along. No interruptions, missed deadlines, or slow or no responses to phone messages or requests for assistance. If you want to hold them accountable, YOU must be accountable.
DWYSYWD is not easy. It takes a commitment and a desire to act in a trustworthy manner, but it will allow you to build the type of relationships that will get the most out of your people, yourself, and your client relationships. It is worth that extra effort.
By Chris Crawford, General Sales Manager, Efficio Solutions