Surefire Ways To Lose A Business Client
Business clients can be hard to find, so once you have found somebody willing to part ways with their cash on the service you provide, you then need to work hard to keep them. If you don’t, and especially if you make any of the mistakes that we will be listing in this article, you might lose your client to your nearest competitor. And this sucks, because not only have you lost one client, but you might also struggle to win over new clients to your service, as your poor reputation might precede you!
So, remember to treat your clients like gold dust. You will struggle to succeed in business if you don’t. Consider the following ‘surefire ways to lose a business client,’ and heed the suggestions we give you.
#1: Being slow to respond to the client’s calls and emails
There will be times when your client might get in touch with you. They might want to know how you are progressing with the work you are doing for them, or they might want to suggest an addition to what you are already doing. Despite your busyness, you need to communicate back to them. They might start to lose patience with you if you don’t, and they might even regret hiring you in the first place.
Tip: You need to communicate in a timely manner, so, at the very least, be sure to reply the same day that their message came through to you. If you are busy, you might send them a quick email or text to let them know that you got their message and that you will reply in full when you get more time. This way, your client will know that their message has gotten through to you and that you aren’t ignoring them. You might also agree in advance with the client the time of day when you are available to take calls and answer emails, so they are less likely to be affronted if you don’t reply during times when you aren’t available to do so.
#2: Conveying an unprofessional image in a business meeting
Especially when you’re working from home, you might be tempted to work in your pj’s, and your house might not always be the epitome of cleanliness. However, if you use Skype to conduct meetings with your clients, or if you regularly invite them over to your home for meeting purposes, you won’t do yourself any favors if your client notices the messy state of both your dress and your house. And you won’t win somebody over to your cause if you show other signs of unprofessionalism, such as using language that could offend the client, or if you’re regularly checking your phone when your attention should be focussed on the person you are meeting with. You see, if the image you convey is unprofessional, your client might assume that is indicative of the quality of the work you might do for them.
Tip: If you are reliant on using your house for business meetings, then you do need to make yourself, and your home, look presentable. Wear a business suit or something approximating a smart image, as not only will you feel more confident this way, but your client will have more confidence in you as a person. Give your home office a tidy up too; remove any clutter, and even consider using a commercial carpet cleaning service if your client is setting foot in your home. Alternatively, use a rented office space or use a known meeting space in town, especially if you are meeting the client in person. This is safer than inviting them to your home anyway (you can never be too careful), and it will give you more credibility as a professional person. Oh, and turn your phone off and cut out the bad language too. To keep your client, you need to show them respect, so be mindful.
#3: Missing agreed deadlines
This is possibly the biggest way to turn a client against you! If you regularly miss agreed deadlines, then your client will lose trust in you. And if they haven’t already paid you up front for your service, then you are going to lose out financially too, as not only will you suffer financially if the client has agreed to pay after work has been successfully completed, but you might not get paid at all if the client decides they have had enough of your slow turnover rate.
Tip: There are times when a missed deadline might be unavoidable, but if you know this is going to be the case, you need to be honest and let the client know that you are going to be held up. However, for the most part, you need to stick to the arrangement you made with your client. This might mean finding ways to overcome productivity problems, such as cutting out distractions that slow down your pace of work, or taking on fewer clients, so you are better able to focus on the work you already have before you. You need to be realistic too, so when arranging a deadline with the client at the beginning of your working relationship, don’t try to convince them you can get work done to a certain time frame when you know that you can’t clearly can’t.
We hope this was useful to you, but let us know what you think. And if you have further tips for our readers, be sure to let us know.
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