We are all consumers. We consume goods, services, information, and entertainment on a daily basis.
Yet, somehow, when we step over the threshold and put on our business owners' hats, everything we know about being a consumer flies out the window.
Here are a few insights about what you didn't even know you didn't know about your clients...
1) They tried other places before they found you.
I have a friend who says the best thing to be is the 1st son, the 2nd wife, or the 3rd Realtor. While I can't speak too much about 1st sons or 2nd wives, I do understand where she's coming from with the 3rd Realtor.
When it comes to finding an expert, people must first accept that they themselves don't know everything about that field. The first Realtor tells you what to do and how, but you reject their advice. Your house doesn't sell, and you go searching for Realtor #2.
Realtor #2 lets you do things your way, but again, you're not the expert, so your house doesn't sell.
Along comes Realtor #3. You finally bow to their wisdom, do the things they recommend, and BAM, house is sold.
This formula is pretty much the same in any industry where a service or product is being offered. After your clients have tried the rest, they'll be ecstatic to find out that you are, quite frankly, the best.
2) They want to be treated like your only client.
Sure, most people realize that they are not your only client, but that doesn't mean they don't want to be treated as such. Nobody wants to hear how you can't help them right now because you're too busy with other clients.
I'm not saying you should be at everyone's beck and call, but do find polite ways to connect with someone at a later time without making them feel like they're just lower on the totem pole.
For example, don't say, "I'd love to help you right now, but I'm busy working on a project for another client." Instead, try saying, "I've got time tomorrow afternoon if you'd like to chat about your new project then?"
You didn't draw attention to another client, you simply kept the focus on when and how you can be there for them.
3) They probably won't let you know if they're unhappy.
One of the most powerful things I learned from serving in a restaurant is that people don't usually complain, they simply don’t come back.
Nobody likes fielding complaints. An unhappy phone call can ruin your entire day. However, dealing with a dissatisfied customer gives you the opportunity to make things right again.
It's a chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one: here's a discount for your next visit, enjoy a complimentary dessert on the house. Ding, happy customer!
But what can you do when you didn't even know they were unhappy in the first place? Absolutely nothing.
Be sure to give your clients a way to connect with you, and then encourage them to let you know if they're ever dissatisfied. This assures them that 1) you care, and 2) you're willing to turn a negative into a positive in order to keep their business.
4) They don't care how/if you make money.
Here is one of my least favorite statements to hear in the business world… "This isn't the product/service/area where we make our money."
Nothing will turn me off on a service or product faster than being told that I'm less important because I'm not utilizing their highest revenue-inducing offering.
Guess what? I. Don't. Care.
Sure, I understand that car dealerships make more off trade-ins than they do on new car sales. Don't care.
I know that concessions are the real money-maker at sporting events and concerts. Don't care.
Your one-on-one consultations make you more money than group coaching? Don't care!
People are willing to spend their hard-earned money on something that provides a value back to them, whether it's the Super-Gold-Spectacular package deal or the One-Time-Not-So-Fancy clearance rack item. Either way, they are a valuable customer and deserve to be treated as such.
If you find that you're spending too much time focused on areas of your business that don't create as much revenue, you might want to consider thinning out your offerings.
5) They want to be loyal to you.
There is nothing my father likes more than "having a guy" for any and everything that comes up. Need your car fixed? He's got a guy! Leaky faucet? He's got a guy!
People like knowing an expert and having that go-to person, whether it's a mechanic, a handyman, or YOU!
Your clients want to keep coming back to you, and they want to recommend you when their friends and family come asking. Be reliable, be trustworthy, and be friendly, and your clients will be happy to sing your praises to everyone they know.
By taking the time to consider things from your client's point of view, you will gain a greater insight on how best to serve their needs. Be the expert they need AND the resource they want. We believe in you!
I am a working mom with a degree in Business Administration. My career passions include hunting down pesky commas and exploring the dark underbelly of Microsoft Word. I live to edit and edit to live!
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