In most walks of life, aside from actual walks in life, shortcuts can be a liability. However tempting they may seem, rarely do they lead to success or satisfaction. And oftentimes they do more harm than good. Whether you’re the sales professional or the client, cutting corners will ultimately mean short-changing yourself one way or another.
You know how it is when you’re tempted by something you really want: You’re full of blind excitement and intoxicated by a so called good deal. So you buy impulsively, based on price, only to discover later that buyer’s remorse has already set in. You’ve not only spent good money on an item you won’t really use, you’ve wasted something even more precious, your time.
Cutting More Than Corners
In a similar way, convenience and price factor in with clients looking to “solutionize” with a shortcut, instead of taking the necessary time and energy to evaluate all available options and find the best match for their needs. Sometimes being uninformed leads them to buy impulsively; other times it’s simply a desire to get the deal over with. No matter what the root cause, poor decision-making is at the heart of shortcutting. Often, when clients are rushed or impatient, they’re not at all open to considering actual good alternatives. As a sales professional, you’ve probably seen your share of that.
On the flipside is the sales person attempting to cut corners in a mad dash to contribute to the quarterly report. When it comes to customers, they take the conveyer-belt approach—as one client drops off into the done bin, they go to the next one down the line. The thing to remember here is that short-term solutions may look good on paper, but they can cause long-term headaches that just aren’t worth it. What we should be doing as good sales professionals is cultivating lasting relationships with clients, not cutting connections off at the knees by shortcutting.
Don’t Chance It
Only lottery winners cash in big on a small investment. In the world that the rest of us inhabit, when you cut corners in an attempt to make a profit, it can end badly: You may lose money; in the worst case scenario, you could find yourself in a legal wrangle. It’s really not worth it. Instead of betting blindly on some great deal, invest a great deal of trust in your client relationships, without the guarantee of a payoff down the road. Ultimately, that trust-building that you’ve banked on will result in a greater yield if it does pan out down the line.
In sales, that short-term “sure thing” can result in dissatisfied customers, a high churn rate, and your reputation taking a hit. To be successful, you have to lay the unglamorous groundwork, like making outbound calls, perfecting your sales presentations, and conducting the research necessary for knowing the needs of your clients and what possible solutions will benefit them. All of this work can go faster and be less painful if you invest time streamlining your processes. That’s a different story, about making life easier for yourself. Whatever your preparation process, however, don’t take shortcuts. When it comes to landing new clients and growing existing client relationship, there’s no workaround for hard work. But don’t worry—do your job right and ultimately you’ll reap the benefits at the end of the longer, more straightforward road.