Undoubtedly, given economic uncertainty, some of your small business clients will stop buying your good or service or simply cancel or terminate your contract. Although this is obviously an upsetting event, how you act during the exit of a sales relationship is more important than how you entered it.
Remember that, in life and in business, you are judged by what you do and who you are when times are going bad and not good. Most successful entrepreneurs have had penalty of bad experiences with salespeople who "only care about the sale." The salesperson is gone as soon as they get their commission. Someone else can service the client right? That's not your job.
But an integrated brand takes the client from sale to exit. If your brand is truly small business friendly, you exit gracefully. You thank them for their patronage and you ask how you can help them. Even if this particular client cannot afford your good and services, a graceful exit may have you recommended to their colleagues as a salesperson who actually gets "it." It being the client being more than a commission figure but a person.
There's also something about entrepreneurs. They don't ever die out. They just morph into something else. Entrepreneurship is not a job but a life-style. You never know when they may call you up a year later and ask you to help them in a new business venture.
You want a good example? Take me. I just moved businesses again and guess who I called to be my IT service provider? The firm I hired when I still had my own legal practice another life-time ago, and who I had not spoken to in 16 months, because I remember them so fondly as being timely and profession.
Labels: Albert Luk