This morning, she presented me with a handful of freshly inked business cards and asked that I recommend her service to my neighbors and friends.
I told her that I couldn’t.
It’s not that she doesn’t do a great job – the woman is a cleaning machine. After a visit from her, every inch of my house sparkles with a Disneyesque twinkle, and I just feel better about life in general.
So why wouldn’t I recommend her to my friends?
Because it would ruin my credibility.
My cleaning lady is undependable, inconsistent at best.
- Cleaning appointments are missed.
- Communication about why is almost non-existent (and no, it’s not a language barrier issue).
- Responsibility is not a high priority.
While I work around these quirks (for now), I couldn’t expect my friends to have the same level of tolerance.
I’d never recommend her to anyone, because her inability to deliver reflects on my credibility as a person with sound judgment.
When businesses strategize about generating word-of-mouth marketing, they stop at the point of figuring out something remarkable to offer. They forget the most important part – how they’re going to offer it on a consistent, dependable basis.
And for women, who are wired for connection and are three times as likely to talk about your product or service, dependability is the key to word-of-mouth.
She’s staking her reputation on what you have to deliver.
God help you if she sends someone your way and you screw it up.
In the last three weeks, I’ve been personally embarrassed by well-meaning recommendations that I made.
A web designer.
A marketing consultant.
All still good at what they do, but completely unreliable in the dependability department.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but inconsistency will kill the business every time.
Are you too focused on the sparkle and not enough on consistency?