If you happen to be a fan of Brené Brown, even just a little bit, then you’re probably already familiar with the term ‘stealth expectations.’ It is a concept she reflects on in several of her books and Ted Talks. And if you haven’t heard the term before, you can probably infer that it refers to those expectations we have, that we may not even be aware of but feel the after-effect when they are not met, chiefly, disappointment.
We all possess stealth expectations in many aspects of our lives: our relationships, celebrating holidays or special occasions, on the job or at school. In almost every aspect of our life, it is likely that we have developed some expectations that we are not aware of. Now put this into a business or customer service context. Our customers are coming to us with stealth expectations and when those are not met, they leave with disappointment. Never, in the history of any sales or customer service standard has anyone set the bar at ‘disappointment’ for the experience they want for their customers.
In the world of real estate, sales agents are trained to inquire about their clients’ motivation and expectations. But what happens when they have stealth expectations? If those expectations are not met, then at a minimum, the opportunity for referrals from them probably just plummeted. If we are striving for not only a great customer experience, but a business built on referrals, then we need to meet, or at least manage, all of their expectations, even the ones they don’t even realize they have.
So… how do you do that? You already know (or should know) that you dig deep for their motivation in any transaction. You need to apply that to their expectations as well. Once you have gotten a pretty good understanding of their conscious expectations, then take it a step further and challenge them to see if there is anything lingering below the surface that neither of you may be aware of.
We all interact with others on a daily basis. Knowing that stealth expectations exist within all of us and working to uncover and understand them helps us to avoid disappointment and reduce stress in many of our interactions.
If you would like strategies to get to the root of stealth expectations that may be lurking in your interactions, then reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation!