A few years ago I ordered twelve Mylar balloons—my wife’s favorite—along with a single rose to be delivered the morning of her birthday. I wanted to begin her day with a bang. Imagine my surprise when I returned from the ofﬁce the day before and my wife thanked me for her balloons. I hugged her and told her she was welcome and then went on with our evening never acknowledging the surprise was premature.
As we climbed into bed that night I glanced at the balloons and the bunch looked a little thin. I counted with my eyes and there were only six. I was letting the day-early delivery slide—but getting half of what I paid for? Now that was a problem.
I called the ﬂower company from work the following morning and explained the mistake. Connor immediately took the blame. “Mr. Duncan,” she said, “that is completely unacceptable and not the way we do business. I take full responsibility. Tell me what needs to happen so you will feel good about your choice to use our services.”
“Well,” I replied, “I really don’t want to pay for something I didn’t get. And if I’m being honest, I’m a little annoyed the delivery was a day early.”
“You’re right,” Connor replied. “You shouldn’t have to pay for something you didn’t get so I am refunding your card right now for the six missing balloons. And because we delivered them a day early, we’d like to pay for your next delivery if you’ll let us. Is there another special occasion coming up?”
Valentine’s Day, I told her, and then she set up my order free of charge. She then asked for my permission to arrange two more deliveries at no obligation to me. “We will email you an automatic reminder when the day is approaching,” she explained, “and then you can decide if you want to follow through with the delivery.” Wise move.
Since that day, I have used Connor’s services more than a dozen times. It’s refreshing to come across a salesperson who takes responsibility for her company’s reputation.
Reputation is more than a consistent smile and handshake. Reputation precedes us into every sales encounter. It often predetermines a customer’s attitude and is a main factor that makes or breaks the deal. Take your reputation seriously; it’s not something that’s easily altered.
"When selling is based on integrity, success can be predicted with a fairly high degree of certainty."