What One Thing Can Lose Clients Fast?
by Tessa Stowe
There is one simple thing that can lose potential clients fast. Once you have lost them due to this one thing, it is virtually impossible to ever get them back.
You can also lose your current clients with this one simple thing. Not only will it cause your clients to stop using your services but they will definitely not refer anyone to you. That is the power of this one simple thing.
This one simple thing is not keeping your word. It's saying you'll do something and then not doing it. Just suppose you say to a potential client, "I will send you that additional information tomorrow." Then tomorrow comes and goes and you get really busy and you don't send it until the day after. No big deal, you think to yourself as it's only one day late and it's not going to make a big difference. Yes, it probably does not make a difference to the potential client whether they get it tomorrow or the day after. However, if you don't do it when you said you would do it, it will make a HUGE difference to what the client thinks of you.
What do you think a potential client would think of you if you said you would do something, no matter how minor, and you did not do it? They could possibly think:
• This person is unreliable. I can't trust them.
• This person lacks integrity: their word is not their word.
• I can't trust this person to do what they say they will do.
• If they are not keeping their word on these simple things, can I trust what they are saying about their service?
• If this is how they treat me before I become a client, then how will they treat me if I become a client?
• I am obviously not that important to them.
Just suppose a current client calls you with a problem and you promise to call them back with a solution later that day. You get busy on another project and forget to call them. What do you think they might say to themselves about you? They could possibly say:
• This person is unreliable and lacks integrity.
• Now that I am a client, they obviously care less about me.
• I am not going to buy any more services if this is how I'll be treated.
• Is there someone else I can find to do this for me who is reliable?
• I am definitely not going to refer anyone to them and risk my reputation.
So keeping your word is important not only for gaining new clients but also in keeping your current clients and gaining referrals.
Keeping your word is also important for how you think about you. If you don't keep your word, you take a hit on your own confidence and self-esteem. You start to lose trust in yourself. This impacts all areas of your business and personal life.
When you have said you will do something by a certain date and something comes up preventing you from doing it, simply communicate and renegotiate as soon as possible. Communicate with the client, apologize, and get their confirmation that it is okay if you now complete it by date "x" instead.
Starting today, I urge you to honor your word with everyone no matter how small or apparently insignificant what you have committed to appears to be. Then start to observe how clients react and how you feel. Client attraction will be just one of the rewards. Let me know how you go.
(c) Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2006.
Tessa Stowe may be contacted at http://www.SalesConversation.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople how to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. For her free list of the 'Top 10 Sales Mistakes - and How to Avoid Them' visit http://www.salesconversation.com.