Have you ever had a new customer who suffered from Great Expectations?

You know the type. Their last vendor was incompetent, uncaring and borderline dishonest. You, on the other hand, are the greatest. You’re wise and caring. Your proposal was dead on. You’re going to fix everything.

If I were you, I’d be worried.

Sure you’re good. But nobody’s that good. Sooner or later, the buyer will be disappointed. And you will be the ex-vendor they’re bad-mouthing to anyone who will listen.

A good place to start getting expectations aligned is with a direct conversation about why the last vendor failed. Listen very carefully to what the buyer says. When the buyer gives you generalities, press them for specifics: “You said their service was terrible – can you give me some examples?” Their answers will tell you exactly what they’ll expect from you.

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