How much do project details matter? Can you overcome small mistakes because of getting details wrong? If you dial into a conference call at 1pm EST rather than 1pm CST, you are likely to figure out that you’re early, right?
In most cases, you can make up for small mistakes. However, if Dan is the CEO of the business you’re selling to and you called Don at 3pm CST rather than 3pm PST on the 8th rather than the 6th? Well, now you’ve blown it.
The problem with not paying attention to project details is the result… people think they can’t trust you. When you are talking to a company about creating a website to run a business that will accept payments, adjust inventory and store customer contact information, you cannot risk not being trusted with details. You are messing with someone’s livelihood!
Not everyone has to manage details to the extreme that project managers do. (Seriously… I was organizing my mom’s sewing buttons by size, shape, color and quantity when I was 3. I called it “playing.”) But, you have to manage them to the point that your clients can trust you with their success.
It means you have to remember what is to happen, who is to do it and when it is to be done. It means that you have to use proper grammar. And, it means you have to do it when you say you’re going to do it – no matter what. It’s creating a perception that you’re ON IT. And, then, you must maintain your integrity, even after you have won that trust, by “rinsing and repeating”.
But, what if project details just aren’t your thing? To solve this issue, invest in the correct tools and prevent things from falling through the cracks. You should be using a CRM – I like Highrise – to keep sales and contacts organized and a type of project management tool to build timelines by project and assign tasks to individuals. You might also have a reminder tool to help you remember when to follow up with whom or what has to be done, repeatedly, every week. Lastly, use your calendar so you don’t double-book appointments.
Developing processes is an additional way to ensure the project details happen. Create a process that you follow religiously to start work with new clients, to bring on new hires, to proofread newsletters, etc. If you do it the same way every time, you don’t have to remember how. You just take the next step toward success.
Also published on Medium.