Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Truth or Consequences

Boy, did we get hoodwinked the other day! Several months ago I thought we were buying some highly competent technical service from a website designer. It all sounded so good - too good actually. The initial service was very efficient; our needs were carefully considered; the demonstration was superb; even the timetable matched our schedule! Molly and I made a substantial deposit on the work to be done. Then nothing...   Excuses...more excuses...a hurried call for more content necessary for site development. Then nothing again!

We've all been there. It's embarrassing! We carve out a set of expectations in our mind for what we think the process should look like - but those expectations fail to be met. Every salesperson has a story. Some stories are true, while others are...well a pack of lies. "Buy the truth, and sell it not!" We can all deal with truth. Is truth what we are hearing when we hear someone's story, or are we hearing what we "want" to hear?

Our experience with our "techie" friend mirrors the experience of most buyers. So, what can you look for when you get ready to purchase goods or services that steers you towards 'buying the truth'? Here are a few pointers that I've picked up through the years from some of the best business men and women in Dallas:

  • Hire a solid reputation. Asking around usually directs us to a person or product that performs well time after time.

  • Carefully discuss your expectations for performance. If it's a person or service they should be candid about the skill set they bring to your equation.

  • Establish strong lines of communication. Both buyer and seller need to have a platform for exchanging information and differences. The stronger the platform, the better the transaction!

  • Demand Truth! Truth is an absolute and good or bad, you can always deal with an absolute.

  • Fulfill your obligations. Performance responds well to performance! Years ago I had a client who would sit down and write the check immediately when I would present the bill. Her attitude was 'I know I owe it, and I have the money so why not pay it while I am thinking about it?' You don't think I performed magnificently well for that client?

Going back to how we were "hoodwinked" it became obvious that we missed it on 'hiring a solid reputation' and 'demanding truth.' Guess we'll be a little more careful next time!

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