Recently I was asked to review some work for a friend. Well, no, to be technical about it, I wanted to review the work, so I asked.

Got anybody begging you to do work for you? Better yet, to buy from you?

Yup. I respect the friend. I knew some of her work already. I was curious, interested, and wanted to be a part. In short, I was pre-sold.

Ed Hawkins, owner of Hawkins & Sons Custom Home Appliance Center here in Delaware, called these “the nicest sales” in an interview I did with him last month. I quite agree.

Get your customers curious. It works wonders.

I got the work in question, and I’d like to tell you it went to my inbox in the order it was received. It didn’t. After work was finished that Friday, I dropped everything else (read: laundry) and spent part of my weekend on it. Not just because my weekends are (supposed to be) my own, ha ha, as a business owner, but because a friend shouldn’t be put in a queue. (Note: No clients were harmed. My sleep was greatly affected, however.)

Good karma comes back to you. Remember your friends, and they will remember you when they know someone who needs you. This goes for doing more than expected for your customers, too. Treat them like friends, and they will become friends. This is why weekends are rarely your own.

Now comes the tough part. Here I am, red pen in hand, staring at work I can hardly wait to dig into. I don’t want to begin. Why?

Because now she’s got to deliver. I’m afraid of what comes next.

Customer Relationship Management is great. Make those prospects feel like friends and future collaborators. Get folks excited about working with you. Build up the expectations to exactly the point where they belong—and no further!

TIP: Pre-sold only gets you so far. Make sure you can deliver the Experience that your expectant customer wants, because as you built those expectations, the “wants” got darn close to “needs.”

You want to know how it turned out, don’t you? Her work was as awesome as I hoped. I used the red pen, but I heard later that she didn’t think I’d been mean enough. I told her we’ll save that for another time.

She did what I needed her to do: She delivered delight.

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson