no more surprises

Nobody likes to be surprised by bad news. Surprises can be a career limiting event. From this day forward, do all in your humanly power to make sure that two types of people are never, ever surprised:

1. Your boss. Your job is to make your manager’s life easier. The #1 way to make their life (and your life) more difficult is for them to be surprised or blindsided by what you have done or not done. We will all make mistakes and drop the ball from time to time and the first step to retribution is making sure your boss isn’t surprised.

2. Your customers. Your job is to make your customer’s life easier. Nobody buys from someone who makes their life more difficult. Surprises make things difficult. Changes happen, there are things outside our control. Customers are far, far more forgiving if they know about potential issues in advance. Delivering bad news in advance is difficult, but letting them call to complain after being surprised by bad news is a far more challenging situation.

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2 comments

  1. Great points Broc!

    For the first point about your boss being surprised, I had an awesome Sales Manager once who commented that the fewer phone calls he received from a rep’s customers, the better things were probably going in the field. If there was a chance that something would go sideways in my territory, I would always give him the head’s up first.

    Have a great Saturday!

    Like

    1. Tim, I have been blessed with a lot of great managers across my career and the common denominator was that they’d fight hard for me. But they had to know what they were fighting for. No matter how bad I’d messed up, as long as they heard about it from me and in advance, they could prepare a solution and defend it to their managers (or the customers). Surprises are much tougher to defend and who wants to go to the mat for someone who allowed you to be blindsided?

      Like

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