Being straight with your clients is essential as we all know. Being honest as to whether we can help new enquirers is also vital.
When we start in business there is a temptation to try to grab every customer who comes through the door or sign up every client who is interested ion our service. We have to be honest with ourselves. Can we deliver what they want, and can we make a good profit in doing so?
Experience tells us that some of our customers want too much for the money they are prepared to pay, or cost us too much to service them. Sometimes we know that we are not best suited to help and that another business we know would be a better fit for them. We should be honest and say so, and we will get greater respect from the prospect, who may praise us for our integrity and refer us to others.
On the other hand, sometimes a business owner will say they will help when they do not want to. Recently, my family has had two incidents where we were let down. My wife was quoted for some work on curtain tracks but the person who said she would fix them never came to see us despite several calls to her. Maybe the work was not worth doing or she was too busy, but we now think of her as unreliable and might say so if asked.
We also need some building work, but the person who quoted and whom we would have engaged then said he could not carry out the work for quite a long time as he was too busy. Why did he not say so? Again he will end up potentially damaging his reputation whereas he might have enhanced it by being honest and up-front and not wasting our time.
- If you want the work and can deliver promptly, sign up and do it.
- If you cannot deliver profitably or the task is not really in your niche, be honest and maybe refer a friend who can deliver.
- Do not say you will do something and never turn up to do it.
Be honest when your new enquirer first gets in touch; can you deliver, and do you want to? If not say so, because your reputation is your most important asset.