Fire your client!
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Communicating Your Message - Your Info-mercial - By Mandie Crawford
What do you mean, fire the client? It seems hard enough to find a client - now you want to fire them? However many people take on just any client because they think that they must - to stay in business. But not every client is the right client. How can there be a wrong client?
A good business provides win-win opportunities for both the provider and the client. Each of the participants must feel that they have benefited from the experience whether it be a sale of a product or a service provided. For example the some person who enters a book store has a need- and that need is to own a book. The store's need is to sell books. When the sale is completed, if the consumer is happy with the product, price and service - they win. The store wins when they sell the book for a price that leaves them with a reasonable profit. However when one of the two is not happy with the outcome of the transaction, it is no longer a win-win situation.
Every business owner at one point in time or another has found themselves asking themselves "Why am I doing this". This is usually because they are on the losing end of a lopsided agreement. Difficult customers who take more than they give are one of biggest causes of dissatisfaction for business owners. Unfortunately, many business owners feel that they must accept every customer, regardless of the cost to them or their business. In fact many feel afraid that they will lose them to the ‘competition'.
Wrong! Let the competition have them!
Shirley runs a framed art store. She has a customer that when she first came to the store was thrilled with what Shirley had to offer. She came in time after time looking and not purchasing. Finally one day she came in and ordered one of the most expensive items Shirley had in the store. When Shirley called to tell her that her item had been delivered to the store, the customer came in and apologetically told her that although she had put a deposit on the item she could no longer afford it. Shirley negotiated with her and the lady put it on lay away for the customer and the customer left - apparently happy.
Several transactions on the layaway later, the customer stopped coming into the store to make her payment. By now Shirley still had not covered the cost of her wholesale purchase and the customers payments were not coming in. Finally the customer returned cash in hand and offered to pay in cash 75% of the original price and complete the transaction that day. Shirley, now wondering about how to handle the situation, finally concedes to sell the painting at the discounted price. As the happy customer leaves, Shirley wonders why she is even in business. Shirley dreads the return of this customer. What will she do the next time the customer comes in and wants to order a product?
Politely and diplomatically let your client know where your boundaries are. Shirley should refuse any orders from the client until the product is paid for in full and all funds should clear before she orders any more product. That way she will not find herself in a position of having to discount her products unnecessarily - and she maintains her self esteem!
Not all of us will experience a customer who does exactly this, but many of us will have customers who will make us feel that out product or service has less value than we know it has. It may be revealed at the beginning of the transaction, or may happen later on in the relationship. Either way, the moment that one of the two parties is made to feel that they must lower their standards, reduce a price, offer too many bonuses or ‘beg' a customer for the sale, then it is no longer a win-win situation. And if when the customer has left the business owner feels like they are having to ‘give away the farm' to secure a sale, then there is no value in having that person as a customer. It is time to choose to get better clients.
We get to choose our clients? Absolutely!
Learning to choose and attract clients that have similar values to you, is the key to building a profitable business, where everyone values the services and products offered. Respecting and treating your customers well is important. However it is just as important that they treat you in the same manner. A customer who whittles away at your value and worth is a customer who is not aligned with your values. These are customers we would not choose, but often end up with - and it changes the way we do business and robs us of our dreams and vision. So it is important to recognize how to choose our clients.
See value in our service/product
-Communicate respectfully when differences arrive
-Do not demand
-Pay on time
-Keep their word
Who is your perfect client? Think about what you give them and what they give back. If you focus on looking for customers with their qualities, you will find that your business will grow in the right direction. You will be less stressed, enjoy your business more, and you will continue to understand the value that your business brings.
Business transactions must benefit both parties equally or there is a loss of respect and self esteem. Creating win-win benefits all.
"One of the keys to effective communication and dispute resolution is understanding ourselves and how we think and also understanding how others are wired as well. Each of us has personality styles that are unique to ourselves - however there are also patterns as well. When you understand the differing personality styles and their blends - you begin to see people as they are with more understanding! For more information on understanding personality styles please contact Mandie at email@example.com."
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Communicating Your Message - Your Info-mercial - By Mandie Crawford
About the Author: Mandie Crawford
RSS for Mandie's articles - Visit Mandie's website
Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.
Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.
She is the President of Roaring Women Ltd which is Canada's premier national business support group for women in business that focuses on connecting, promoting and educating women in business. In her goal to encourage and educate women in building business across the country, she launched and completed a 6 week coaching tour in partnership with Staple Business Depot in 2008 where she coached over 600 women in business.
Mandie is mother to four children and 3 stepchildren and one highly energetic chocolate lab! Ms Crawford is also a former award winning police officer with Halton Regional Police.
Click here to visit Mandie's website.
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