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The Tale of the $2 Clock

How much is a $2 clock worth?

You remember your first job?  A friend shared shared one of his biggest life lessons from when he started his sales career.

He was one of his first sales calls – a client was a new restaurant start up. The client had all their money and time invested into this new venture. The salesperson remembered all of company sales training and sold the new client on a full line of his company’s products.  He set the up the client with new equipment, some free product to get started, and promotional items to help them sell more.  During the meeting the client asked for a clock – a $2 battery operated wall clock.

The salesperson forgot to order it.

When the salesperson remembered and could have ordered the clock, he felt it was too late.  He felt that the equipment and promotional items (worth thousands of dollars) were more important to the client’s business and the clock had no value.

Later, the salesperson went back to the restaurant to sell additional products.  He found that the client had switched to the competitor!  The salesperson asked if the equipment, service, or deliveries had fallen short of expectations. “No”, said the client, “they were all fine.”  “Then why did you leave us?”  The client replied that he never received his clock.

To the salesperson, it was a $2 clock that could be purchased at any retailer.  To the client, the clock was about commitments and keeping your word.

The salesperson life lesson was two-fold:

  1. Live up to and deliver on all your commitments
  2. Don’t assume the value others put on your commitments or promises

There are $2 clocks out there for all of us.  Will you deliver yours?