Sales Moves: What’s the grade on your report card?

Remember when you were in school and you got your report card? And you were so nervous that you didn’t open it, because you thought there were bad grades, and you just couldn’t look? Or worse, you thought your parents would be angry?

Finally, on the way home from school, you couldn’t stand it so you looked. Or you traded cards with a friend and looked at each others? You got a C in math, you felt you didn’t deserve it, and you hated old Mrs. So-and-So?

You only got six report cards a year. One every six weeks. They were progress reports and grades for that marking period. And you had to wait another six weeks to improve or redeem yourself.

Fast-forward a few years (or 20) to life, job, career, sales, service, co-workers and customers.

Report cards are now instant, and they come in all forms. Verbal communications from co-workers, comments from your boss both good and bad, customer compliments for a job well done, or botched email, text, IM or voicemail from anyone. Even a hand-written note.

Report cards are now instant. And they can come at any time. You get them every day from co-workers and from customers, but the grading system is different – they call them word forms, not letter forms. 

A failing grade is "What were you thinking?" The next-highest is "Let me speak to your supervisor."  The middle grade is "Thanks" or "Good job." It’s passing, but not great. The second-highest grade is "Great job. I really appreciate that." And the highest grade is "WOW!"

 When someone tells you "WOW!" it means you did something they were not expecting, or you performed or delivered beyond their expectations.

 WOW! comes one of two ways: (1) Reactively customers call about something wrong and you react and respond all the way to a WOW! Or (2) Proactively you uncover a need and fill it before the customer knows it was going to happen. The easiest example is a backorder where you call the customer in advance and give them choices.

 But it could be something like a new way to install or use your product, or a new item that just came in that you thought would be perfect for the customer. Or you had an idea that you gave to your company or your customer, and their response was WOW!

When someone tells you "WOW!" it means that you have gone the extra mile. WOW! and extra mile are siblings – equally valued – and one leads to the other. When you go the extra mile, someone will say "WOW!" And when someone says, "WOW!" it means you are going the extra mile.  It sounds simple, but it’s not easy.

You helped someone when they weren’t expecting it. You created a service response that went beyond your customer’s expectations. Or you performed a random act of kindness … and got a “WOW!”

The way to WOW! compels you to go your own personal extra mile. It means you have to be WOW! friendly, you have to have a WOW! attitude (or a YES! Attitude, as I like to call it), and you have to have a WOW! heart of service.

To be WOW! you can’t look at service as just being part of your job, service has to be part of your soul.

 MAJOR CLUE: Before you can WOW! others, you must be WOW! to yourself. Wow feels great when you give it, and great when you hear it

The only problem with WOW! is that it’s in short supply. The good news is you create it. Yes, you can create a WOW! a day. If you do, WOW! becomes a habit.

Think about that. WOW!

The cool part is that a WOW! report card is instant. If you have gone to WOW! here are the responses you will get:

  • A smile followed by "WOW! that was…"
  • Praise from someone to you.
  • Praise from someone to someone else about you.
  • A referral.
  • A second order.
  • A testimonial.
  • A loyal customer.


The reason I am challenging you to think about WOW! and take WOW! actions is because your customer needs them if you want a loyal relationship – and because your competition may be thinking WOW! too.

If you’re looking to keep your customers, now is the time to take action. WOW! is the action to take.

If you want to know how WOW! qualified you are, I have developed a WOW! self-test. Go to, register if you’re a first-time visitor, and enter the word WOW! in the GitBit box.


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