The Lost Art of Dependability

Dependability has lost the cache it once enjoyed in American business, particularly in sales.  Ask most salespeople what traits are valued in our line of work, and they’ll tell you that being aggressive, a polished communicator, great at building relationships and proficient in  establishing rapport are the hallmarks of success.    Sure, these traits can be important, but if you consider your customer’s point of view, simply being dependable ranks pretty high on their list of what matters.

Sounds pretty boring, I know, but sometimes boring is exactly what’s required, particularly when you’re trying to convert a prospect to a customer.  Let me give you an example:

Imagine that you have your first meeting with a prospect, and things go well.  As a follow up, you agree to provide a list of references by the end of the week.  But your schedule is slammed, and instead of delivering it on Friday, you provide the list on Monday.  Missed it by a business day…no big deal, right?

Maybe not to you, but here’s what you’re customer is thinking:  “I’m not even a customer yet, and already, this guy is missing his commitments.  If I can’t count on him now, when he’s trying to win my business, how dependable will he be when I’m an existing customer?”  Certainly a fair question.

It’s not flashy, but let me tell you, being dependable is underrated.  Master the art of dependability and you’ve added a trait that hardly anybody you compete with gives a second thought to.


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